Former Trans Woman Praises Arkansas Law Banning Transgender Procedures for Minors

April 7, 2021 Updated: April 7, 2021

A former transgender woman praised a new Arkansas law banning transgender procedures for minors, warning against children going through irreversible changes they may regret in the future.

“They end up mutilating their bodies and destroying their lives, and by the time they’re 21 or 22 years old, they wish they’d never done it,” Walt Heyer, a long-time advocate for awareness of tragic consequences suffered as a result of transgenderism, said in an interview with Daily Caller.

After he was diagnosed with gender dysphoria, Heyer underwent gender-reassignment surgery and hormonal therapy at the age of 42, a transition he regretted after living eight years as “Laura Jensen.” He now runs the website Sex Change Regret and works with those who suffer from changes they cannot reverse.

Heyer has been advocating for legislative action to address the issue of minors being allowed to go through transgender procedures, including Arkansas’s Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, which he called “tremendous.”

The SAFE Act, which passed the Republican-led Arkansas state legislature last month, blocks medical professionals from referring minors to transgender procedures, excludes those procedures from income tax deductions, and prohibits the state’s Medicaid program from providing coverage for such treatments for minors. Medical professionals who violate the law could lose their licenses to practice in the state.

“It is of grave concern to the General Assembly that the medical community is allowing individuals who experience distress at identifying with their biological sex to be subjects of irreversible and drastic nongenital gender reassignment surgery and irreversible, permanently sterilizing genital gender reassignment surgery, despite the lack of studies showing that the benefits of such extreme interventions outweigh the risks,” the legislation asserts. “The risks of gender transition procedures far outweigh any benefit at this stage of clinical study on these procedures.”

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, vetoed the SAFE Act on Monday, citing concerns of government taking away options from parents. His veto was overridden by the state legislature with a overwhelming majority in both chambers.

Heyer told Daily Caller that officials like Hutchinson are not hearing all sides of the story when it comes to the issues of transgenderism, adding that he has attempted to share his experiences with Hutchinson previously without success.

“I’ll be honest with you,” he said, “I’ve worked with children who claimed to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria who don’t have it. What we’re finding now, is that they will diagnose any child, literally any child with gender dysphoria, whether they have it or not … As a result, the diagnosis does far too much harm.”