Federal Court Blocks Arkansas Ban On Child Sex Changes

A federal appeals court stopped Arkansas from implementing a ban on medical sex change procedures Thursday. The state passed the law in March 2021, but it was temporarily blocked and subsequently challenged in court.

The latest ruling came from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and it is up to a district judge to decide in October if the law will be permanently blocked.

Arkansas’ attorney general reportedly will appeal to a higher court.

The state law would ban specific medical procedures on children. They range from puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to sex-change surgeries to anyone under the age of 18. Arkansas last year became the first state to ban such treatments.

The law also specified that doctors cannot refer patients to another doctor for the treatments, and currently there are none in the state who perform so-called gender-affirming surgery.

The court ruled that the minor’s sex at birth “determines whether or not the minor can receive certain types of medical care.” Thus, the three-judge panel ruled, it “discriminates on the basis of sex.”

The law, Act 626, was vetoed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson last year, but the legislature overrode him.

It was then challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of four families and a pair of doctors who offer gender confirming treatments. The ACLU claimed that children who do not receive cross-sex treatments are more prone to suicide.

Other opposition included the American Medical Association and Biden’s Justice Department.

Arkansas argued that the law falls well within the state’s authority for regulation. Doubtless the judge will rule in October that it is unconstitutional or beyond the purview of the state and allow these “treatments” of minors to go on.

This despite controversy in the medical community both in the United States and globally as to the long-term effects of such “care” to children.

For adults to consent to these treatments and surgeries is one thing, but for children it is wholly another. Arkansas and other states that attempt to rein in such medical practices are doing so in defense of those who are not of a proper age to make that choice for themselves.