On Monday, Arkansas' state senate passed a bill that would ban access to gender-affirming care for transgender residents who are minors. The bill, called HB 1570, specifically calls out the use of puberty blockers, hormones, and gender-affirming surgeries as "harmful" and, if passed, will keep transgender people under the age of 18 from accessing these services in the state. The bill also bans the use of any state funds for gender-affirming health care for transgender people under 18. In addition, it allows private insurance companies to refuse to cover gender-affirming care for people of any age.
Several transgender people testified against the bill, including Wolfe Espinosa Villegas, who spoke before the Arkansas House Public Health Committee earlier this week. Villegas, who identifies as a "butch lesbian on testosterone" and prefers female pronouns, tells Yahoo Life that she feels it's her duty "as a human being and as a trans person" to speak out against the bill.
"It's something that I have to do," she says. "No one else is going to do it."
Video provided by ACLU.