, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge temporarily halted enforcement of Arkansas
's ban on gender-confirming treatments for transgender youth
on Wednesday while a lawsuit
challenging the ban is pending.
In May, the American Civil Liberties Union
filed a lawsuit in Little Rock asking U.S. District Judge Jay Moody
to overturn the law that made Arkansas the first state to prohibit doctors from providing gender-confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers, or sex
to anyone under the age of 18, or referring them to other providers for such treatment.
“Removing care from these patients, or minors, in the middle of their treatment would cause irreparable harm,” Moody said.
The legislation was supposed to go into effect on July 28.
filed the lawsuit on behalf of four transgender youths and their families
, as well as two doctors who provide gender confirming treatments, arguing that the prohibition would be detrimental to transgender youth in the state and violate their constitutional rights.
“This ruling sends a clear message to states
across the country that gender affirming care is life-saving care, and we will not allow politicians
in Arkansas – or anywhere else – to take it away,” said Holly Dickson, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas.
Arkansas' Republican-dominated legislature overrode Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson
of the measure, which Hutchinson vetoed in response to pleas from pediatricians, social workers, and parents of transgender youths who said it would harm a community already vulnerable to depression