Ohio’s Republican-controlled state Senate successfully passed a bill on Wednesday, banning transgender hormone treatments and procedures for individuals under the age of 18.
They also approved a measure to prohibit boys and men from competing in sports against girls and women. The vote was in response to House Bill 68, which was vetoed by Republican Governor Mike DeWine. The bill was initially passed by the House in January, with a vote of 65-28.
The bill, made up of two acts – the “Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act” and the “Save Women’s Sports Act” – aims to protect children from undergoing irreversible procedures that could potentially harm them. These procedures include double mastectomies and genital surgeries for minors with gender dysphoria. It also bars males from participating in female sports at all levels including elementary, secondary schools, and colleges.
When DeWine vetoed the bill, he argued that it would interfere with parental rights. He expressed concerns that the government would be making medical decisions for children instead of their parents. He also claimed that his veto was aimed at protecting human life, stating that many children’s lives have been saved due to these procedures. He also mentioned that some adults have indicated that they would have committed suicide in their teenage years if they had not undergone these procedures.
However, his arguments were dismissed by Republican senators, who firmly believe that these procedures should be banned to protect children from making potentially irreversible decisions. They also argued that allowing boys and men to compete in female sports would be unfair to biological females.
While Republican senators have been vocal about the potential damage that these procedures could do to minors, some Republicans have expressed a different view. During his brief run for President in 2024, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie argued that such procedures should be a parent’s decision. He contended that the government should never replace the role of a parent in deciding what is best for their child. He also insisted that parents should be fully involved in the process to offer guidance and love to their children.
Despite the disagreements within the Republican party, the bill was passed and will take effect in approximately three months. This means that minors in Ohio will no longer be able to undergo hormone therapy or men's operations without parental consent. Additionally, boys and men will not be allowed to compete against women in any capacity. The bill also expands upon the existing laws in Ohio, which require parental consent for minors to undergo any medical treatment, including abortion and body piercings.
While the bill has been received positively by those who advocated for its passing, it has also faced criticism from the transgender community and its allies. They argue that these measures will only push transgender individuals further into the margins of society and deny them the right to make decisions about their own bodies.
Despite the backlash, it is clear that the Republican party in Ohio is determined to protect children from potentially dangerous procedures and preserve the integrity of female sports.
With the bill’s passing, Ohio joins a growing number of states that have enacted similar laws to protect minors and preserve the fairness of athletic competition. It remains to be seen how this decision will impact the transgender community and the fight for equal rights in the state of Ohio.