On Thursday the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis heard oral arguments in a lawsuit over whether or not Arkansas can protect children from sex-change procedures.

In 2021, lawmakers in Arkansas overwhelmingly passed the Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act.

The SAFE Act is a good law that prevents doctors in Arkansas from performing sex-change surgeries on children or giving them puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. 

Unfortunately, the SAFE Act has been tied up in court for more than two years, and a federal judge in Little Rock has blocked the state from enforcing the law. However, federal appeals courts have let similar laws go into effect in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama.

During Thursday’s oral arguments, Arkansas Deputy Solicitor General Dylan Jacobs told the court,

This case is about whether the constitution compels states to allow life-altering gender transition procedures to be performed on minors. Two courts of appeals [the Sixth and Eleventh Circuit Courts] analyzing the same claims at issue here have held that it does not. . . . Arkansas’ law does not discriminate based on sex, it does not discriminate based on transgender status, and it does not run afoul of any parental rights.

Sex-change surgeries and procedures can leave children sterilized and scarred for life.

Researchers do not know all the long term effects these procedures can have on children, but a growing body of scientific evidence shows children should not be subjected to sex-change procedures, puberty blockers, and cross-sex hormones.

Files leaked from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) organization reveal that medical professionals performing gender-transitions on kids have been fully aware that these procedures can lead to lasting regret and painful complications — some of which may even be life-threatening.

For example, the leaked files showed one WPATH doctor encountered a 16-year-old female patient who had “two [cancerous] liver masses [tumors]” and that girl’s oncologist and surgeon both agreed cross-sex hormones were to blame for the cancerous tumors.

Not long after Arkansas passed the SAFE Act, a major hospital in Sweden announced that it would no longer give puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to kids. Since then, the U.K. has joined a growing list of jurisdictions that protect children from puberty blockers, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has added a warning label to puberty blockers after discovering they caused some biological girls to experience swelling in the brain.

Fortunately, public opinion is shifting on this issue, with more Americans saying it’s morally wrong to change genders.

The SAFE Act is good legislation that protects children. We believe our federal courts will recognize that fact and uphold this law as constitutional.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.