Watch: Arkansas Bill Targets Transgender Youth Care
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Arkansas lawmakers are trying to effectively reinstate a ban on gender affirming care for minors with a proposal making it easier to file malpractice lawsuits against doctors who provide the treatments.
A state Senate panel on Monday endorsed legislation that would allow someone who received gender affirming care as a minor to file malpractice lawsuits against their doctor for up to 30 years after they turn 18.
Under current Arkansas law, medical malpractice claims can be filed within two years of an injury.
The measure is an effort to privately enforce a ban on gender affirming care that's been temporarily blocked by a judge.
The proposal, which is being considered in other states as part of broader bans on the care for children, is a major change for how most malpractice claims are considered, legal experts said.
By expanding the liability doctors face for providing such care, the bill could make it nearly impossible for providers of the treatments to get malpractice insurance.
The move is another avenue for states to restrict transgender care, which has been targeted by dozens of bills in GOP statehouses this year.
A federal judge who blocked Arkansas' ban on gender affirming care for minors is considering whether to strike down the law as unconstitutional.
A similar ban in Alabama has also been temporarily blocked by a federal judge.