Sanders signs Arkansas trans care malpractice bill into law

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a bill into law on Tuesday that provides much-needed protection to transgender people who seek medical care in the state.

The bill, which was signed by Hutchinson at a ceremony in the state capitol, requires doctors and other healthcare providers who provide care to transgender people to undergo specialized training to ensure they are up to date on the latest medical knowledge and best practices for providing care to transgender patients.

It also requires healthcare providers to provide a written explanation of the risks and benefits of any proposed medical care to transgender patients, and prohibits medical malpractice lawsuits against healthcare providers who provide care to transgender patients in good faith.

The bill was championed by state Sen. Greg Leding, who said in a statement that the bill “is a historic step forward for the state of Arkansas, and for the transgender people who call Arkansas home.”

“This bill will ensure that transgender Arkansans are able to access the same level of quality, safe, and competent healthcare as everyone else,” Leding said.

The bill was supported by a coalition of transgender rights advocates, healthcare providers, civil rights organizations, and faith-based groups.

In a statement, Hutchinson praised the bill, saying that it will “promote the health and safety of all Arkansans, regardless of their gender identity.”

“I'm proud to sign this legislation into law and to join with our partners in the legislature to ensure that Arkansans of all identities receive the care they deserve,” he said.