On February 14, Family Council sent a Freedom of Information Act request to Arkansas Children’s Hospital concerning hormone therapies and puberty suppressants
Family Council requested the following from Arkansas Children’s Hospital:
- Any and all information (including educational materials in any medium) made available within the past five years to patients or their parents/guardians concerning treatment with a hormone, hormone suppressant, and/or pubertal blocker for the following conditions:
- Gender identity disorder
- Gender dysphoria
- Gender incongruence
- Any and all information (including copies of blank consent forms) used within the past five years for the purpose of obtaining a patient’s or parent/guardian’s informed consent to treatment with a hormone, hormone suppressant, and/or pubertal blocker for the same conditions listed in 1. above.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital wrote back in response that the records requested are not public records and that the hospital is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. However, in 2017 a circuit judge in Little Rock opined that Arkansas Children’s Hospital is subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
The FOIA request to Arkansas Children’s Hospital is part of ongoing research we are doing about how cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers are administered in Arkansas.
In 2021 the Arkansas Legislature passed the Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act.
The SAFE Act is an excellent law that protects children from sex-reassignment procedures, puberty blockers, and cross-sex hormones.
Researchers do not know the long term effects that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones can have on kids.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has never approved puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for the purpose of gender transition. Doctors are giving these hormones to kids off-label, in a manner the FDA never intended.
That is part of the reason many experts agree that giving puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children is experimental, at best.
Children’s Hospital operates a pro-transgender Gender Spectrum Clinic for minors, and it isn’t clear what protocols Children’s Hospital follows concerning puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.
The ACLU and others filed a lawsuit against the SAFE Act last summer, before the law officially took effect, and a federal judge in Little Rock has temporarily blocked the state from enforcing the law.
Arkansas’ Attorney General has asked the Eighth Circuit to let the state enforce the SAFE Act. A trial in the case is scheduled for the week of July 25, 2022.