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First day of trial on ban of trans youth care in Arkansas

This past August U.S. District Judge Jay Moody temporarily blocked the ban. Now, he's hearing testimony and evidence from the ACLU and the Attorney General's Office.

ARKANSAS, USA — The nation's first trial over trans youth care began in Arkansas on Monday and it centered around whether trans youth in the state can get the gender-confirming care they want.

Both sides agreed to skip the opening statements and get right into their arguments.

Last year, Arkansas became the first state to enact a ban on gender-confirming care. Lawmakers approved the legislation and it was sent to Governor Asa Hutchinson's desk.

The governor, who had signed other restrictions on transgender youth into law, said the prohibition went too far and cut off the care for those who were currently receiving it.

In the end, state lawmakers overruled his veto. 

The ban doesn't allow doctors to provide gender-confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers, or surgery to anyone who is under the age of 18.

In August, U.S. District Judge Jay Moody temporarily blocked the ban and will now hear testimony and evidence from the ACLU as well as the Attorney General’s Office.

The first person to take the stand was Dr. Dan Karasic. He has been a psychiatrist for over 30 years and is also a member of the American Psychiatric Association.

He spoke on his expertise as someone who has treated transgender youth. 

When we reached out to the attorney general’s office about the trial, they sent us a statement that read in part: 

“The safe act protects children from life-altering, permanent decisions that they may desire to make as an underage child but could regret as an adult; no law in Arkansas prevents someone from making these decisions as an adult."

Multiple medical groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, all opposed the bans and experts explained that the treatments are safe if administered properly.

We also reached out to the ACLU but they were unable to provide us with a comment. 

The trial is still underway, and the judge explained that there's a chance it could stretch on for weeks.

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