Day One: Trial Begins Over Arkansas Transgender Care Ban

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The first day ends with a trial over a new Arkansas law that bans health care for transgender youth.

Arkansas is the first in the nation to pass a gender-affirming care law, but so far the bill has been blocked.

Pediatric endocrinologist dr. Deanna Atkins was called to the stand just before 5pm on Monday night.

She said she cares for children with gender dysphoria, provides drugs to pause puberty – known as puberty blockers – and provides hormones such as estrogen and testosterone to help with gender-affirmation treatment.

dr. Atkins went through the process she goes through to make sure patients understand what they’re committing to.

She also talked about the side effects of puberty blockers and sex-confirming hormones, which the defense later focused on during their testimony.

dr. Atkins stated that between puberty blockers and hormone treatments, the biggest side effects can be blood clots, liver dysfunction, irregular ovulation, weight gain, slowed calcium production and stunted growth, among other side effects.

However, she said side effects are rare and her clinic monitors them.

In a statement about puberty blockers, she said quote

“In general, my patients are doing quite well. They are able to focus on the important parts of growing up.” Dr. Atkins said

On Monday, only the prosecutors were heard again. The defense stated that there will be about 10 witnesses from its side after the prosecutor finishes testifying.

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