March 30, 2021
WASHINGTON – In light of the recent anti-trans bills, Christine Soyong Harley, President and CEO of SIECUS, issued the following statement on the passage of House Bill 1570.
SIECUS: Sex Education for Social Change condemns the passage of Arkansas House Bill 1570. It is essential that transgender and gender non-conforming youth are able to access gender affirming medical care in order to live authentically. Through the passage of this extreme bill, youth in Arkansas will be denied this critical care and could even experience increased rates of depression and suicidal ideation. While HB 1570 is the first of its kind to pass a state legislature, it is part of a larger, calculated effort on behalf of anti-transgender politicians to dehumanize and harm transgender youth. Similar legislative efforts are currently underway in at least 19 additional states, and it’s up to advocates like you to stop this disturbing trend.
Trans youth have been targeted by these anti-trans bills for being themselves. This denial of healthcare is a human rights violation.
Transphobia is prevalent and impacts so many individuals. As sex educators, we work to ensure that every young person is able to get healthcare, which includes access to comprehensive sex education that is inclusive of their lived racial experiences and normalize and humanize their right to live sexually and reproductive healthy lives.
SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change has served as the national voice for sex education for 56 years, asserting that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one worthy of dignity and respect. Through policy, advocacy, education, and strategic communications efforts, SIECUS advances sex education as a vehicle for social change—working toward a world where all people can access and enjoy sexual and reproductive freedom as they define it for themselves.