Wednesday, Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders pledged to fight back after a federal judge appointed by Barack Obama invalidated a state law intended to regulate transgender therapy, including sex-change procedures for minors.
The new Republican governor and former press secretary for President Trump criticized U.S. District Judge James M. Moody Jr. for “pushing a political agenda at the expense of our kids” after he halted the implementation of the Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act.
“Rather than protecting children or safeguarding medical ethics, the evidence showed that the prohibited medical care improves the mental health and well-being of patients and that, by prohibiting it, the state undermined the interests it claims to be advancing,” he wrote in his ruling.
Sanders and other Republican state officials retaliated by asserting that the judge’s selection was motivated by politics rather than science or healthcare.
“This is not ‘care’– it’s activists pushing a political agenda at the expense of our kids and subjecting them to permanent and harmful procedures,” Sanders said. “Only in the far-Left’s woke vision of America is it not appropriate to protect children.”
“We will fight this and the Attorney General plans to appeal Judge Moody’s decision to the Eighth Circuit,” she added.
Tim Griffin, the attorney general of Arkansas noted: “I am disappointed in the decision that prevents our state from protecting our children against dangerous medical experimentation under the moniker of ‘gender transition.’ Unfortunately, Judge Moody misses what is widely understood across the United States and in the United Kingdom and European countries: There is no scientific evidence that any child will benefit from these procedures, while the consequences are harmful and often permanent. I will continue fighting as long as it takes to stop providers from sterilizing children.”
The state plans to appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court, where ten of the eleven justices were appointed by Republican presidents. Just Moody was chosen by a Democrat.
In his #SAFEAct ruling, Judge Moody misses what is widely known: There is no scientific evidence that any child will benefit from these procedures, while the consequences are harmful and often permanent. We will appeal to the Eighth Circuit. https://t.co/ecEvqp3d0v #arpx #arnews pic.twitter.com/KFhSYsOiXE
— Attorney General Tim Griffin (@AGTimGriffin) June 20, 2023
This is not “care” – it’s activists pushing a political agenda at the expense of our kids and subjecting them to permanent and harmful procedures.
Only in the far-Left’s woke vision of America is it not appropriate to protect children.
We will fight this and the Attorney… https://t.co/7wCeR4I1Vo
— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) June 20, 2023
According to NBC News:
The American Civil Liberties Union sued in May 2021 on behalf of four trans minors and their parents, as well as two physicians who provide gender-affirming health care, arguing that it violates the Constitution.
Attorneys for the state relied on five arguments to support the law, according to Moody’s opinion.
They argued that there is a lack of evidence supporting gender-affirming care for minors, that the banned treatment has harmful side effects, that many patients will “desist” or stop identifying as trans when they grow older, that some patients will regret their transitions and that doctors are providing treatment without thorough evaluation and informed consent.
However, Moody wrote, “the evidence presented at trial does not support these assertions.”
He said that the state had not provided an explanation for “why only gender-affirming medical care—and all gender-affirming medical care—is singled out for prohibition.”
“The testimony of well-credentialed experts, doctors who provide gender-affirming medical care in Arkansas, and families that rely on that care directly refutes any claim by the State that the Act advances an interest in protecting children,” Moody added.
Some medical professionals, however, argue that there is insufficient evidence to determine whether such treatment is truly secure for adolescents over the long term.