On Wednesday the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request for an en banc hearing before the full circuit court over a preliminary injunction against Arkansas’ Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act.

The Arkansas Legislature passed the SAFE Act in 2021. The law generally protects children in Arkansas from sex-change surgeries, puberty blockers, and cross-sex hormones.

Last year U.S. District Judge James Moody issued a preliminary injunction blocking the state from enforcing the SAFE Act while a lawsuit over its constitutionality plays out in court. The Arkansas Attorney General’s office appealed that decision to the Eighth Circuit.

In August a three-judge panel from the Eighth Circuit ruled that the law should remain blocked while the lawsuit progresses in Judge Moody’s court.

The State of Arkansas asked the entire Eighth Circuit to review the preliminary injunction. On Wednesday the court declined to take up the case, because it expects Judge Moody to rule on the SAFE Act’s constitutionality within a month.

Regardless of how Judge Moody rules in the case, his final decision is almost guaranteed to be appealed to the Eighth Circuit.

As we have said many times, children should not be subjected to sex-reassignment procedures.

Researchers do not know the long term effects puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones can have on kids.

This summer the U.S. Food and Drug Administration added a warning label to puberty blockers indicating that they can cause vision loss and swelling of the brain.

The U.K.’s National Health Services recently closed its Tavistock gender clinic that gave puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children for many years.

The facility today faces the possibility of lawsuits from upwards of 1,000 families whose children were subjected to sex-reassignment despite an obvious lack of scientific evidence in favor of the procedures and inadequate mental health screenings for children with gender dysphoria.

A gender-identity clinic in Scotland faces similar legal troubles from former patients who say they were rushed into sex-change procedures.

The U.K. is not the only European country rethinking how it treats children who disagree with their biological sex.

A major hospital in Sweden announced last year that it would no longer administer puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children.

Stories like these are part of the reason many experts agree that giving puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children is experimental, at best.

The SAFE Act is commonsense legislation that protects children.

It received overwhelming support from the Arkansas Legislature.

Most voters in Arkansas support the law, according to polling by Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College.

Arkansas’ SAFE Act protects children. We believe federal courts ultimately will recognize that fact and uphold this good law as constitutional.