LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas attorney general, the ACLU of Arkansas and a teen who sued the state have all spoken out after Tuesday’s court decision overturning the state’s gender-affirming care ban.
Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders took to social media to blast the ruling and promise the state would appeal the decision to the Eighth Circuit.
“This is not “care” – it’s activists pushing a political agenda at the expense of our kids and subjecting them to permanent and harmful procedures,” Sanders tweeted. “Only in the far-Left’s woke vision of America is it not appropriate to protect children.”
Attorney General Tim Griffin echoed the governor’s promise of appealing the case. He also challenged Judge James Moody’s comment in his decision that “Transgender care is not experimental care,” claiming instead that it was “dangerous medical experimentation.”
“Unfortunately, Judge Moody misses what is widely understood across the United States and in the United Kingdom and European countries: There is no scientific evidence that any child will benefit from these procedures, while the consequences are harmful and often permanent,” Griffin said. “I will continue fighting as long as it takes to stop providers from sterilizing children.”
Included in Moody’s decision in its Science and Resulting Guidelines list was the comment, “Transgender care is not experimental care.”
Holly Dickson, executive director of the Arkansas ACLU, was happy with the Tuesday decision, saying this kind of care was necessary for transgender youth.
“We’re relieved and grateful that the court has ruled in favor of these brave Arkansans and their rights, protecting life-saving care that should be available to all trans youth,” she said in a statement. “Science, medicine, and law are clear: gender-affirming care is necessary to ensure these young Arkansans can thrive and be healthy.”
The ACLU statement also included a statement from a plaintiff in the case, 17-year-old Dylan Brandt, a transgender boy.
“I’m so grateful the judge heard my experience of how this health care has changed my life for the better and saw the dangerous impact this law could have on my life and that of countless other transgender people,” he said.
The ban on youth gender-affirming care was passed by the general assembly in 2021. The act was vetoed by then-Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who cited at the time the ban as “vast government overreach.” His veto was overturned by the legislature, which led to the court case.
The Tuesday decision came after a 2022 trial.
KARK 4 News reached out to Hutchinson, who is currently campaigning for the Republican nomination for president, for a statement on Tuesday’s ruling, but had not received a reply by the time this story was published.