Despite the best efforts of Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson to veto a bill brought before him that would have banned puberty blockers and transgender surgeries for children, the General Assembly was having none of it, voting Tuesday to override his veto and making theirs the first state in the country to prohibit these sorts of child abuse.
The bill, HB 1570, also dubbed the excellent and accurate “Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act” (SAFE), was vetoed by Hitchinson because “if the bill becomes law, then we are creating new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people.”
Naturally, he was roasted and called out by conservatives.
Appearing on Tucker Carlson Tuesday night, the host wasted no time tearing into him, asking the governor why he was “pro-choice on the chemical castration of children?” Hutchinson explained:
“If this had been a bill that simply prohibited chemical castration, I would have signed the bill…[But] this bill was overbroad, it was extreme, it went far beyond what you just said.
If this was about prohibiting procedures, sex reassignment surgery- absolutely I would have signed that bill. But this is the first law in the nation that invokes the state between medical decisions, parents who consent to that, and the decision of the patient. And so, this goes way too far. And in fact, it doesn’t even have a grandfather clause that those young people that are under hormonal treatment.
When pressed by Carlson on the logic of that, Hutchinson brought up a new line of defense, quoting his conservative creds and explaining that he supports ‘limited government’, arguing that governments shouldn’t get involved in medical decisions between parents and doctors.
I signed pro-life bills. I sign many bills that would be looked at as very conservative. But this is one that crosses the line. There is no need for it.