The measure, named the Arkansas Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, would ban doctors from providing gender-affirming care, including puberty blockers and hormones, to trans people under the age of 18, or else risk losing their license. The legislation is rooted in a host of misinformation about gender-affirming care,with proponents of the bill arguing forits necessity under the guise of protecting kids. One of the bill’s Republican sponsors described gender-affirming treatments as “at best experimental and at worst a serious threat to a child’s welfare.”
It is of a piece of the other efforts to ban transgender students from participating in high school sports. There are clear guidelines for transgender participation in college and Olympic sport, but there’s no discussion of that in the fearmongering that accompanies these bans. Moreover, even Dollar Store Sarah Palin, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, only has the guts to ban transgender girls from high school sports. If she banned them from college sports, the NCAA would probably penalize South Dakota college sports teams for being discriminatory. It’s also a non-issue that had a policy that appears to have worked for the very few students who wanted to participate:
Dan Swartos, the director of the athletic association for the state, says that since 2013 South Dakota has had a policy that any transgender athlete wanting to play school sports must acquire documentation from their physician that they identify as transgender. Then, an independent hearing officer determines if the athlete has any competitive advantage. Since the policy was instituted, only one transgender girl athlete has been allowed to play girls’ sports in the state.
I’m no expert on transgender rights, but my daughter has a couple transgender friends and acquaintances. I’ve gotten to know one young transgender man fairly well, and it’s not like this guy has an easy life. He’s one of the most hard-working twenty-somethings that I know. HRT is expensive, and he works multiple jobs to pay for it. Surgery is even more expensive. This hateful attack against transgender community makes him and others like him suffer. It will lead to more suicide in a group that already has a suicide issue. And though it isn’t reported much, this is another way for the right to get at Planned Parenthood, since my daughter’s friend receives his HRT from them, which I think is pretty common in the transgender community.