In April, Arkansas passed the Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act, making it the first state to forbid doctors from providing gender confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or sex reassignment surgery to young, vulnerable transgender people, even if parental consent is in place. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) responded with a lawsuit asking Judge Moody to strike down the law, according to NPR. The ACLU also sought the preliminary injunction as the lawsuit proceeds.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of four transgender youths and their families, as well as two doctors who provide gender confirming treatments. The lawsuit argues that the prohibition would severely harm transgender youth in the state and violate their constitutional rights.
"This ruling sends a clear message to states across the country that gender affirming care is life-saving care, and we won’t let politicians in Arkansas — or anywhere else — take it away," Holly Dickson, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas, told NPR.
"To pull this care midstream from these patients, or minors, would cause irreparable harm," Judge Moody said in his ruling. The harsh anti-trans bill was set to take effect on July 28.