Donald Trump is absolutely furious a Republican governor would stand up for trans kids
Former US president Donald Trump has attacked healthcare for trans children in an asinine rant against Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson.
Hutchinson is the Republican governor of Arkansas, which this week became the first US state to ban doctors providing medical treatment to trans under 18’s after legislators overruled Hutchinson’s veto of the bill.
As a result, young trans people will not have access to puberty blockers, an “incredibly safe and reversible” treatment that pauses puberty to give trans youth more time to understand their gender identity before undergoing the irreversible effects of the wrong puberty.
Unsurprisingly, Trump is furious that Hutchinson stood up for trans youth – Trump’s administration oversaw multiple attacks on trans rights – calling him a “RINO”, or Republican In Name Only, a derogatory term for conservative politicians in the US.
“Asa Hutchinson, the lightweight RINO Governor of Arkansas, just vetoed a Bill that banned the CHEMICAL CASTRATION OF CHILDREN,” Trump said in a statement to reporters.
He added: “Bye-bye Asa, that’s the end of him! Fortunately for the Great State of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders will do a fantastic job as your next Governor!”
Hutchinson is not able to stand for re-election as Arkansas governor in 2024. He used to be a Trump ally but strongly criticised the former president after violent white supremacists stormed the US Capitol in January.
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“The reason I vetoed the bill,” Hutchinson said, “is because we did not want to interrupt a treatment that the parents had agreed to, the patient agreed to and the physician recommended.”
“We want to send a message of tolerance and diversity,” Hutchinson told reporters in Arkansas of the bill, noting that if it became law, people could turn to the black market or go out of state for trans health needs.
Hutchinson was overruled by Republican lawmakers, and Arkansas became the first US state to ban puberty blockers for trans kids when House Bill 1570 was passed into law on Tuesday (6 April), meaning healthcare professionals in the state will be legally prohibited from offering healthcare such as puberty blockers and hormone treatment to trans youth.
When asked by host Ari Shapiro what he would say to a transgender minor whose treatment will now cease, Hutchinson replied: “Well, I’m sorry.”
The governor reaffirmed his previously stated position – that he would have signed the bill into law if it had banned gender-affirming surgeries for minors in Arkansas. However, he noted that such practices are currently not offered to young people.