State rep: Even the Left knows children more important than politics

State rep: Even the Left knows children more important than politics

State rep: Even the Left knows children more important than politics

States which have enacted legislation to protect children from gender-manipulation procedures are keeping an eye on Arkansas and hoping Republican State Representative Robin Lundstrum is reading the tea leaves correctly.

The Arkansas SAFE Act (HB1570) (aka Act 626), authored by Lundstrum, was struck down by a federal judge last week. The bill, passed in 2021, prohibited physicians from using hormone treatments, puberty blockers and surgeries on those under 18 years of age.

The SAFE Act (Save Adolescents From Experimentation) became law in 2021 when the Arkansas legislature overrode the veto of then-Gov. Asa Hutchinson. The fate of the law rested in the hands of Judge James Moody, an appointee of Barack Obama, who oversaw an eight-day trial in July of last year, after it was challenged by four transgender youths and their parents.

Arkansas was the first state to make gender-manipulation procedures illegal.

Lundstrum said on Washington Watch Thursday that she "had no illusions" about how Moody would rule. She is optimistic for a favorable ruling from the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis.

Lundstrum, Robin (Arkansas lawmaker) Lundstrum

"I hope the judges in the Eighth Circuit [will] look at the science and the facts and not stick their finger up in the political wind and decide to go with woke, liberal agenda and look at what's best for children. Castrating children is not what's best," Lundstrum told show host Jody Hice.

The Eighth Circuit has 11 judges, 10 appointed by Republican presidents: one by George H.W. Bush, five by George W. Bush, and four by Donald Trump.

Arkansas attorney general Tim Griffin is expected to formally file an appeal within the next few weeks.

ACLU takes a pass on putting Lundstrum on the stand

The strategy for attorneys representing the SAFE Act last summer was to stress the science that supports two sexes, male and female.

With that in mind, Lundstrum did not take the stand for her team because lawyers thought plaintiff attorneys would turn the discussion political. However, plaintiff attorneys from the ACLU also had the chance to call Lundstrum to the stand and did not.

"One of the interesting things, the ACLU did depose me. I was deposed for six hours and 42 minutes. So, they had their shot at me, and they still didn't choose to put me on the stand. We kept focusing on the science, and that was not where they wanted to go," the state lawmaker explained.

Quiet, behind-the-scenes support appreciated

According to Lundstrum, SAFE has bipartisan support within Arkansas.

"I have met a number of people from the political Left who have quietly supported me, and I have appreciated that," she said. "They're starting to come out and say, 'Wait a second, this is harmful to children. Even though we know you're a Christian, we know you're a Republican, we want to stand with you.'

"I have appreciated that so much, and they've appreciated the fact that I'm willing to reach across the aisle and lock arms with them."

Lundstrum said several LGBTQ Arkansans have quietly supported her for fear of being bullied within their social communities. "Some of them don't want to say anything, and I understand that. It's starting to dig deep, and people are starting to look at this and say, 'Children are more important than politics. This is harming children. We don't want our children harmed,'" she said.