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Horowitz: Arkansas GOP governor stands on the hill of chemical castration for minors


State legislature overrides governor's veto

Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg/Getty Images

It's a headline I never would have imagined writing just a few years ago. But in the year 2021, it's actually newsworthy when a completely red state has enough votes to block castration operations and hormone destruction therapy for minors. In most states, governments can regulate every aspect of doctors' right to practice, including prescribing cheap and effective FDA-approved drugs to treat COVID, yet they have a green light to perform castration on minors.

On Tuesday, the House voted 71-24, and the Senate 25-8, to override Governor Asa Hutchinson's veto of the "Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act" (HB 1570). The bill doesn't even ban such a barbaric practice for adults. It merely bars puberty blocking, hormone therapy, or castration of minors. Shockingly, it's the first state to do so, even though Republicans control government in 23 states.

Both chambers initially passed the bill in March by similar margins, but the governor vetoed it on Monday. In Arkansas, the legislature only needs a simple majority reaffirmation of the initial vote to override a veto, but in this case, legislators repudiated him by a mile.

In vetoing the bill, the governor charged, "You are starting to let lawmakers interfere with health care and set a standard for legislation overriding health care." He contended that "the state should not presume to jump into every ethical health decision."

So, what if a minor went to the doctor and said she feels like a mermaid and wants him to amputate her legs? Is that not the business of the state either? If anything, amputating legs is less systemically damaging to the body than castration or gender mutilation procedures and hormones.

Moreover, the sudden libertarian conversion is quite rich given Hutchinson's recent foray into COVID fascism. Hutchinson had no problem interfering with health care decisions by forcing people to wear experimental medical devices, aka masks, and fining businesses for not participating in his worthless health care restrictions. In fact, he just vetoed a bill to zero out COVID fines on businesses and managed to pressure a number of House members to flip their votes and sustain his veto.

Gov. Hutchinson widely received accolades from conservatives when he signed SB 354, the bill barring boys in girls' sports, after South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem vetoed a similar bill in her state. Idaho, Mississippi, and Tennessee have also passed similar legislation. However, it is baffling that he would veto this bill barring castration for minors, which is a much bigger slam dunk. Men playing female sports is absurd and unfair; castration of minors is sadistic. What's next – assisted suicide of minors? After all, Governor Hutchinson, we wouldn't want to interfere with health care decisions.

Hutchinson got a lot of pressure from the same people in the health care cartel who obsessively pushed COVID fascism. He claimed to be concerned "with those young people who are currently under hormone treatment." Isn't it interesting how the same health care cartel that sought to ban lifesaving COVID treatment using drugs, such as hydroxychloroquine, that have been safely dispensed billions of times somehow believes it's safe to destroy the hormone system of minors? Adults cannot get safe COVID treatment, but children can make decisions on castration.

This sort of diabolical worldview passes as science and medicine in this era, yet Hutchinson thinks that the GOP legislators are the extremists. "The Republican Party that I grew up with believed in a restrained government that did not jump in the middle of every issue," bemoaned the governor.

Actually, governor, the party you grew up in would have banned such behavior even for adults and would have locked up those promoting it in mental asylums. Hutchinson had the nerve to say on Tucker Carlson's show last night that he appealed to "limited government principles" in the mold of Buckley and Reagan by promoting chemical castration for minors. He suggested that it is conservatives who are interjecting themselves into cultural wars, as if the woke left – mask-wearing, transgenderism, illegal immigration, and all – is the normal default.

That we have ceded the playing field to the left and allowed them to define normal in every aspect of our lives is exactly why we have lost the country. The fact that we have governors in nearly every state who think this way is why the red states are not much better. But if the state legislatures would man up, then perhaps the tide will turn.

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