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April 9, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Former President Donald Trump excoriated Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson Thursday for vetoing legislation that would prohibit “sex-reassignment” surgery or cross-sex hormone treatments for minors, expressing hope that his former White House press secretary will succeed Hutchinson in the office.

“Asa Hutchinson, the lightweight RINO Governor of Arkansas, just vetoed a Bill that banned the CHEMICAL CASTRATION OF CHILDREN,” Trump declared. “’Bye-bye Asa,’ that's the end of him! Fortunately for the Great State of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders will do a fantastic job as your next Governor!” 

Huckabee Sanders announced her candidacy for governor of Arkansas in January.

The law in question specifically bars physicians from performing or referring for “gender transition procedures” on residents under age 18, as well as taxpayer dollars from being spent on such procedures for minors. It covers both surgery and chemical treatments such as puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones.

Hutchinson vetoed the bill on Monday, calling it “overreach” that would “let lawmakers interfere with healthcare and set a standard for legislation overriding healthcare.” He also claimed that the ban could somehow “lead to significant harms from suicide to drug use to isolation.” By Tuesday afternoon, however, both chambers of the Arkansas legislature had voted “overwhelmingly” to override Hutchinson’s veto, meaning the law will become law after all.

The governor appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show to defend himself Tuesday, during which he attempted to argue that the bill violated limited-government principles. Carlson countered by noting that states have always regulated a wide range of personal and medical decisions for minors. Despite initially claiming the bill was simply too broad, Hutchinson eventually came to defend “hormonal treatment” for “young people.” 

Hutchinson’s failed attempt to kill the new law follows South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem’s veto of legislation to keep biological males out of women’s athletic programs, which Noem had previously claimed she would sign. That state’s legislature failed to override her veto.

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