Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge asked the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to take up the case of the state’s “Save Adolescents From Experimentation” Act (SAFE Act), which protects minors with sexual identity confusion from damaging and disfiguring puberty blockers, opposite-sex hormones and surgeries.
In a statement about her defense of the SAFE Act, Rutledge said, “This evidence-based law was created because we cannot allow children as young as nine years old to receive experimental procedures that have irreversible, physical consequences.”
She continued, “I will aggressively defend Arkansas’s law which strongly limits permanent, life-altering sex changes to adolescents. I will not sit idly by while radical groups such as the ACLU use our children as pawns for their own social agenda. As the Attorney General of Arkansas, I will be appealing today’s decision.”
Rutledge’s action was reported by Family Council, in Arkansas, which supported the passage of the SAFE Act. Jerry Cox, president of the organization, wrote, “It’s a very good law that passed with strong support from the Arkansas Legislature.”
Indeed. As reported in The Daily Citizen, the Arkansas State Legislature overrode the governor’s veto to pass the act in April 2021, with a vote of 71 to 24 in the House and 25 to 8 in the Senate.
Family Council had also reported that the statute to protect children was supported by most Arkansans, with a June 2021 poll showing, “52.5% of voters in Arkansas support the SAFE Act; 38% oppose it; and 9.5% don’t have a position on the measure.”
“Across the board, support for the SAFE Act was highest among voters ages 30 – 44 and 45 – 64,” Family Council added.
“Researchers do not know the long-term effects that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones can have on kids. That is why many experts agree that giving puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children is experimental, at best,” Cox wrote.
Soon after the act was passed, the American Civil Liberties Union sued to overturn the law, challenging its constitutionality, saying it violated the rights of doctors and minors, as well as parental rights, guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. The suit also says it violates free speech, as doctors cannot recommend puberty blockers, hormones and surgeries to minors with sexual identity confusion.
In July, seventeen state attorneys general filed an amicus brief in support of the law. The brief said the evidence doesn’t support these untried and harmful medical interventions for minors, arguing, “What is known, however, is that most cases of gender dysphoria in children resolve naturally with time, and it’s impossible to know ahead of time whose dysphoria will persist into adulthood and whose won’t.”
The brief adds, “Yet the evidence also shows that nearly all children whose gender dysphoria is treated with puberty blockers to ‘buy time’ will proceed to take cross-sex hormones and seek other medical interventions with irreversible, lifelong consequences – complications such as infertility, loss of sexual function, increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, bone-density problems, risk of altered brain development, social risks from delayed puberty, and mental health concerns.”
Less than a week later, a judge blocked the SAFE Act, leaving children, adolescents and teen open to these serious risks and disrupting their normal mental and physical development.
As Dr. Michelle Cretella, executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, previously told The Daily Citizen, “Puberty is not a disease. Puberty is a critical and natural developmental phase that can be life-saving for gender incongruent youth.”
Minors in Arkansas aren’t the only ones who deserve this safeguarding. That’s why our friends at Family Policy Alliance (FPA) launched the “Help Not Harm” campaign to get similar laws passed in other states.
Vice President of Strategy at FPA Autumn Leva said, “For far too long children who have legitimate gender conflict have been pressured into transition by politicized medicine.”
“A child who is not old enough to buy cough syrup over the counter or get a tattoo should not bear the weight of the decision to alter their body in ways that have the potential to be both permanent and harmful,” Leva stated.
Find out more about this important campaign to keep children safe from these intrusive, unscientific, ideologically-driven interventions and see how you can get involved at “Help Not Harm.”
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