Actress turned activist Sophia Bush recently called legislation banning hormone treatment and sex reassignment surgeries for minors “tantamount to murder.”
What are the details?
Bush — best known for her role in the early 2000s teen drama “One Tree Hill” — posted on Instagram last week blasting a bill approved by the Arkansas Legislature that bars physicians from providing gender confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers, or performing sex change operations on individuals younger than 18 years old.
“[Transgender kids] are under attack across the country,” Bush wrote in the caption to the Instagram post. “AR just banned them from accessing healthcare. This is tantamount to murder.”
Of course, despite Bush’s claims, it is not true that children in Arkansas will be barred from accessing health care. Rather, they will not be able to receive gender transition treatment.
“Kids will tell us who they are. It’s our job to support them, not demonize or harm them,” she added.
The bill, called the Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, has since become law after lawmakers in the state Senate overturned a veto by the Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Hutchinson, who recently made headlines for signing legislation that bans transgender female athletes from competing in women’s sports, said the bill is “over broad, extreme and does not grandfather those young people who are currently under hormone treatment.”
“In other words,” he explained, “the young people who are currently under a doctor’s care will be without treatment when this law goes into effect.”
He also claimed in approving the measure, the state would be “creating new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters dealing with young people.”
Republican Arkansas state Rep. Robin Lundstrum, who introduced the measure, reasoned that the bill was for the sole purpose of protecting children from potentially making harmful decisions.
“Those kids are precious. Some of them may choose to be transgender when they’re older. That’s OK, that’s their choice,” she said during a House panel prior to passing the bill, according to CNN. “But when they’re under 18, they need to grow up first. That’s a big decision, there’s no going back.”
Bush has been extremely outspoken about political issues over the past several years. She recently told People magazine that she often will turn down projects or partnerships that don’t align with her views.
“There are so many brands who I’ve had approach me and say, ‘We’d love for you to work on this, but you need to tone down your politics by 50%.’ And I’ve just said, ‘No,'” she explained. “I will be uncompromising on advocacy forever.”
Her Instagram bio reads: “Actress most of the time. Activist all of the time.”