On Tuesday night, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson refused to be bullied by Tucker Carlson—and rebuffed the Fox host’s attempts to fluster him with talking points and mischaracterizations for defending his veto of Arkansas’ anti-trans health care bill.
Tucker Carlson is accusing of supporting the ‘chemical castration’ of children that would ban gender confirming treatments and surgery for transgender youth. Carlson and Hutchinson engaged in a heated debate on Fox News on Tuesday night after Arkansas’ Republican legislature voted to override the governor’s veto and move forward with enacting the bill.
The interview was rocky out of the gate as Hutchinson, a Republican, immediately took issue with Carlson’s description of the bill.
In recent months Carlson has repeatedly used his top-rated show to attack trans kids and their parents, largely under the guise of wanting to prevent child abuse or protecting the sanctity of women’s sports.
In March, he tore into Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem—a rising GOP star and potential presidential candidate—for “caving” to the NCAA by not signing a bill banning transgender women in sports. (Noem, who supports excluding transgender athletes, said the bill’s passage could lead to a long court battle that the state would eventually lose.)
Prior to his interview with Carlson, Hutchinson told NPR that Arkansas’ bill barring gender-affirming treatments for transgender minors was a “step way too far” and places a “very vulnerable population in a more difficult position.”
He added: “My own personal view that this is too extreme, it was too broad, and did not grandfather in those young people who are currently under hormone treatment.”
The Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act, which the state’s legislature passed by overriding Hutchinson’s veto, prohibits minors from receiving puberty blockers, hormones, and any transition-related surgeries, even if they have parental consent. It could also strip away the licenses of any health care providers who provide any such services.
The governor had announced that he would veto a bill passed by the Arkansas legislature banning doctors from prescribing puberty blockers or performing gender reassignment surgeries on children.
“I think of you as a conservative,” Carlson said. “Here you have come out publicly as pro-choice on the question of chemical castration of children. What changed?”
Tucker Carlson vs. Governor Hutchinson On The Governor’s Decision To Veto Bill Banning Gender Reassignment Surgeries For Children
His Veto Was Overridden Today By The House & Senate In Arkansas & The Bill Protecting The Children Of Arkansas Is Now Law 1/ pic.twitter.com/aj9TSIQcsF
— The Columbia Bugle (@ColumbiaBugle) April 7, 2021
‘The legislature in Arkansas a recently passed a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing so-called “puberty blockers”, heavy duty hormones, to children who believe they are transgender,’ Carlson said.
‘The law also bans surgeons from physical castration of children. But the governor vetoed that bill on Monday. Legislators just voted to override that veto, which brings us to where we are right now.’
Addressing Hutchinson he said: ‘I think of you as a conservative. Here you’ve come out publicly as pro-choice on the question of chemical castration of children. What changed?’
Hutchinson replied: ‘Well, first of all, your teaser as you led into this program did not accurately represent the bill. If this had been a bill that simply prohibited chemical castration, I would have signed the bill.
‘But Tucker as you know, this bill was over-broad, it was extreme, it went far beyond what you just said. And I made it clear that if this was about prohibiting procedures, sex reassignment surgery, absolutely, I would have signed that bill.
‘But this is the first law in the nation that invokes the state between medical decisions, parents who consent to that and the decision of the patient. And so, this goes way too far.’
Carlson interrupted: ‘If I could just correct you for a second,’ the host said. ‘This is chemical castration, of course, if you stop puberty and suppress the sex hormones, you are chemically castrating. So our description is correct.
‘We are talking about minors, children here. There are all kinds of things in Arkansas, kids in every state are not allowed to do. Get married, drink a beer, get a tattoo. Why do you think it’s important for conservatives to make certain that children can block their puberty, be chemical castrated, why is that a conservative value?’
‘First of all, you have parents involved in very difficult decisions. You have physicians that are involved in these decisions. And I go back to William Buckley. I go back to Ronald Reagan. The principles of our party, which believes in a limited role of government.
‘Are we, as a party abandoning a limited role of government and saying we are going to invoke the government decision-making over and above physicians, over and above healthcare, over and above parents and say you can’t do that?’
Arkansas lawmakers on Tuesday made the state the first to ban gender confirming treatments for transgender youth – a day after Hutchinson vetoed it.
The bill prohibits doctors from providing gender confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery to anyone under 18 years old, or from referring them to other providers for the treatment.
Opponents of the measure have vowed to sue to block the ban before it takes effect this summer.
With his veto, Hutchinson yielded to pleas from pediatricians, social workers and the parents of transgender youth who said the measure would harm a community already at risk for depression and suicide.
The ban was opposed by several medical and child welfare groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics.
‘This legislation perpetuates the very things we know are harmful to trans youth,’ Dr Robert Garofalo, division head of adolescent and young adult medicine at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, told reporters on a press conference call held by the Human Rights Campaign.
‘They’re not just anti-trans. They’re anti-science. They’re anti-public health.’
An opposition was dismissed from medical groups and compared the restriction to other limits the state places on minors, such as prohibiting them from drinking.
Watch it here: Youtube/Fox News
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