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From working hours to age limits on purchasing tobacco products, there are many protections written into our laws to safeguard minors. Society as a whole agrees these protections for children are reasonable and yet, an Arkansas law that protected the biological integrity of children susceptible to untested hormone therapy and gender transition surgeries came under fire. The intent of the law is to protect children who cannot fully understand such life-changing decisions. So they prohibited parents and children to procedures that lead to disfigurement and future health problems. Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson vetoed the bill, saying, “This was one step way too far and I couldn’t abide by it.” Though the veto was overridden by the state legislature, the controversy exposes the fault lines in the debate over gender dysphoria.

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Commonwealth Policy Center