Speed Reads

transgender rights

Court blocks Arkansas ban on health care for transgender kids

A three-judge federal appeals panel on Thursday vetoed Arkansas' ban on gender-affirming medical care for transgender children, The Associated Press reports.

The panel for the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals doubled down on a judge's previous ruling that temporarily blocked enforcement of the 2021 law, AP writes. Another trial before the same judge in October will soon determine whether to permanently block the measure, which prohibits doctors from providing transgender minors with gender-affirming treatment like hormones and puberty blockers.

"Because the minor's sex at birth determines whether or not the minor can receive certain types of medical care under the law, Act 626 discriminates on the basis of sex," read the Thursday ruling. The American Civil Liberties Union had challenged the law "on behalf of four transgender youth and their families, as well as two doctors who provide gender-confirming treatments," writes AP.

A spokeswoman for the state's Republican attorney general said the office will request that the full 8th Circuit Court of Appeals review the "dangerously wrong decision."

The ban was first passed back in 2021, after state GOP lawmakers overrode a veto from Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson. U.S. District Judge James Moody then blocked the law shortly before it took effect, "finding that it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution," Reuters writes.