Arkansas’ SAFE Act Goes to Trial October 17, 2022

Last week the U.S. District Court in Little Rock announced the lawsuit over Arkansas’ Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act will go to trial sometime during the week of October 17, 2022.

The court previously scheduled the trial to take place during the week of July 25, but apparently rescheduled the trial in a Revised Final Scheduling Order on February 28.

The Arkansas Legislature overwhelmingly passed the Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act last year.

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.

That is also why a major hospital in Sweden announced last year that it would no longer administer puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children.

Unfortunately, the ACLU and others filed a lawsuit against the SAFE Act last summer, before the law officially took effect.

Several business interests and the Biden-Harris Administration also have joined the fight against Arkansas’ SAFE Act.

Last July, U.S. District Judge James Moody temporarily blocked the state from enforcing the law while the lawsuit progresses. Arkansas’ Attorney General has asked the Eighth Circuit to lift his order so that the state can start enforcing the law right away.

In the meantime, the lawsuit over the SAFE Act’s constitutionality is progressing and will go to trial this fall. It is unclear when Judge Moody’s court might make a decision in the case.

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

Protecting the Victims of Bad Ideas

John Stonestreet is the Director of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview

In Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, President Joe Biden told young people with gender dysphoria that he will “always have (their) back.” Though he didn’t specify what exactly that means, presumably it had something to do with extending Title IX protections to include allowing men full access to women’s facilities and sports; extending mandatory insurance coverage for “gender reassignment” surgeries; and restricting any counseling, treatments, or public advocacy that does anything less than fully affirm one’s gender dysphoria.  

Immediately following the President’s late-speech shoutout was a call to pass the Equality Act, something that remains (at least for now) dead in the Senate. The Equality Act would be a kind of legislative nuclear option, rendering the approximately 250 so-called “anti-LGBTQ” bills under consideration across America pointless, and leading to serious restrictions on religious liberty, especially for religious schools.  

Over the last few years, following a strategy that proved effective for advancing pro-life protections, states like Texas have been laying creative groundwork to hold adults accountable for experimenting on young people struggling with gender identity. Having these laws in place is incredibly important, given the astronomical rise in the number of young people identifying as transgender and how quickly transgender ideology went from being unthinkable to unquestionable in so many aspects of society.  

For instance, the field of so-called gender-affirming “medicine” is the only example of medical treatment that attempts to alter the body to accord with the mind, as opposed to helping the mind align with biological reality. That was a $316 million industry in 2018. By 2026, it is projected to be a $1.5 billion industry.  

Children, in particular, are the subjects of these social experiments, which are only one example of how reality is being reimagined along the lines of sexual autonomy. If the early days of the sexual revolution were about being free from the confines of sexual morality, these latter days are about being free from the confines of sexual reality.  

That these created realities were part of a biological, social, and religious package deal went largely unquestioned until recently. However, technological innovations such as the pill, IVF, and surrogacy; legal innovations such as no-fault divorce; and cultural innovations such as ubiquitous pornography and “hook-up” apps, have all made it increasingly plausible to reimagine the world. Children are forced to go along as we pursue so-called sexual “freedom.”  

Specifically, the pursuit of social and legal equality without reference to reality has proven disastrous. It’s one thing to say that men and women are equal before God and the law; it’s quite another to say that they are the same or, like we are saying today, that any and all differences are either an illusion or unjust. So now, we hear, without a hint of parody, that men can bear children and that “not all women menstruate” and that love can make a second mom into a dad. None of this is true, but young people are expected to play along, to adapt to and adopt these lies, pretending all is well, even if they’re not. 

Of all of the lies of the sexual revolution, the most devastating is repeated at each new stage of the sexual revolution in order to justify whatever new way life and the world are reimagined. It’s been phrased various ways, but it’s the same fundamental myth: “the kids will be fine.”  

But, of course, the kids haven’t been fine. Not even close. In her book, Them Before Us: Why We Need a Global Children’s Rights MovementKaty Faust documents all of the ways the kids aren’t fine, and all of the ways their wellbeing is sacrificed on the altar of adult happiness.  

On Tuesday, March 15, I will be talking with Katy Faust about all of the ways that kids aren’t fine and how Christians can and must defend children from the myths, misnomers, and lies of the sexual revolution. This isn’t a theoretical topic. In fact, I’m absolutely convinced that standing for the inherent dignity and rights of children against the innovations of our age is what “running into the plague and caring for victims” will require of us. It’s what Christians are called to in this cultural moment. 

Katy’s presentation is part of the new Lighthouse Voices Speaker Series, a partnership between the Colson Center and Focus on the Family. Together, we aim to help Christians think clearly and biblically, especially about the most critical, confusing, and important issues at the intersection of family and culture.  

If you’re in the Holland, Michigan, area, you can join the conversation in person. If not, you can sign up for the livestream of this important discussion at www.colsoncenter.org/events.

Copyright 2022 by the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Reprinted from BreakPoint.org with permission.

Family Council Sends FOIA Request to Arkansas Children’s Hospital

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:

  1. 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
  2. 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.

Several business interests and the Biden-Harris Administration also have joined the fight against Arkansas’ SAFE Act.

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.