What is HB 1570? Arkansas anti-trans bill stirs row as LGBTQ activists ask Guv Asa Hutchinson to veto legislation

Anti-trans sports bills that prohibit trans girls from participating in girls' sports, have already been passed and signed in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi


                            What is HB 1570? Arkansas anti-trans bill stirs row as LGBTQ activists ask Guv Asa Hutchinson to veto legislation
Demonstrators protest for transgender rights (Getty Images)

Arkansas became the first US state to pass the controversial HB 1570 bill that infringed on the healthcare rights of the trans community. The bill sparked an uproar on social media with users protesting the decision. The hashtag, 'Trans Rights Are Human Rights', soon started trending on Twitter as more and more users came forward to express their dissent against the bill. 

"BREAKING: Arkansas has become the first state to ban health care for trans youth," tweeted legal and advocacy organization ACLU Foundation, adding, "HB 1570 was just passed through both chambers in the Arkansas legislature, banning trans youth from accessing health care and health insurance coverage that we deserve and need. Our rights and lives are under attack. Governor Hutchinson must veto this bill."

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What is HB 1570?

The HB 1570 bill, officially termed the "Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act" prohibits trans youth from access to healthcare and insurance coverage for gender-affirming care, reports Business Insider. It also prevents doctors from offering gender-confirming hormone treatment or surgery to trans youths. In fact, doctors will also not be able to refer minors to other providers for treatments. 

The bill was passed in the state House earlier in March 2021 and was passed recently in the state Senate with a vote of 28-7. Now, the legislation awaits the signature from Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson, who has not publicly disclosed his stance on the legislation. The bill must be signed or vetoed by the governor within five days, barring Sunday before it becomes a law. The law will take effect from the Summer of 2021 if the bill is signed.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (Getty Images)

In fact, if Governor Hutchinson signs the bill, Arkansas will become the first US State to criminalize these vital health services including gender-affirming care for trans children, states Business Insider. 

The legislation has been vehemently criticized by LGBTQ advocacy groups, medical professionals, child welfare organizations, and the Queer community, who are urging Governor Hutchinson to veto the bill. 

"My existence as a person is not a f**king political discussion"

Trans individuals have vented their outrage against the legislation on Twitter with the hashtag "Trans Rights Are Human Rights', reiterating the ostracisation and societal struggles experienced by the community. Prominent icons like YouTuber Jeffree also spoke out about the issues in a tweet saying, "Screaming it REALLY loud... Because this is unacceptable.
#TransRightsAreHumanRights (Hundred points symbol)."



 

"this isnt about protecting children or sports. simply put: the general populace hates us, deems our very existence abominable, wants us dead, and if they cant outright murder us will instead work to end our existence through legislative genocide," one user tweeted, while another urged, "Stay angry about the decision in Arkansas."

One Twitter user shared a personal anecdote of their struggle with the bill, "Most of my posts regarding transgender rights start with tearing into the conservative laws that hurt trans people, instead I'm going to share a personal story. As y'all know I'm a proud transgender womxn - I'm transitioning a bit later in life but the medical treatment..." Another user wrote, "My existence as a person (trans or not) is not a fucking political discussion."



 

 



 

 



 

 



 

According to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), twenty-eight states are currently considering over 60 anti-trans bills - a major percentage of which include the restriction of trans youths; access to gender-affirming heath care, reports CNN. Anti-trans sports bills that prohibit trans girls from participating in girls' sports, have already been passed and signed in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Now it remains to be seen whether Governor Asa Hutchinson goes ahead with the signing of the anti-trans HB 1570 bill.