Ohio restricts health care for transgender children, bans transgender girls from playing school sports

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Protesters gather at the Ohio Statehouse on January 24 before the Ohio Senate votes to override Governor Mike DeWine’s veto of House Bill 68.

The Ohio Senate voted on Wednesday to override Governor Mike DeWine overruled Legislation restricting medical care for transgender minors and prohibiting transgender girls from playing women’s sports.

The bill prohibits doctors from prescribing hormones, puberty blockers or sex reassignment surgery before patients turn 18, and requires mental health providers to obtain parental permission to diagnose and treat gender dysphoria. It also prohibits transgender girls and women from playing on women’s sports teams in high school and college.

Dewayne He objected to the legislation In December, decisions about gender transition care should be left to families and medical providers. But the governor’s Republican colleagues disagree and say the bill is necessary to protect Ohio’s children.

House of Representatives voted Advance this month To overturn DeWine’s decision. House Bill 68 is now scheduled to become law within 90 days, though opponents have indicated they may take the matter to court.

Twenty-four Republicans supported the override, with Sen. Nathan Manning, R-North Ridgeville, serving as the lone GOP vote against it. Manning voted against the bill in December.

“Despite what liberals say, sex is not determined at birth, but from the moment of conception, you are either male or female,” said Sen. Christina Rogner, R-Hudson. Confirm care. You can’t confirm something that doesn’t exist.”

Gender affirming care is a Recognized medical practice It involves various treatments, including medications, therapy and surgery, which help support someone’s gender identity.

What does Ohio House Bill 68 say?

House Bill 68 does not ban talk therapy, and Ohioans who already receive hormones or puberty blockers could continue treatment if that becomes law, as long as doctors determine that stopping the prescription would cause harm. But critics of the legislation say that’s not enough to preserve current treatment because health care providers may be wary of legal consequences.

“He is terrorizing our children,” said Mina Zilch, who has a 19-year-old transgender daughter. “He terrorizes trans people. Even transgender adults in this state now have to think, “Can I stay here?” Can I get a job elsewhere?

A protester is escorted out of the Ohio Senate chamber on January 24 as lawmakers debate overriding Gov. Mike DeWine's veto of House Bill 68. The bill would restrict health care for transgender minors and prevent... Transgender girls are unable to play on women's sports teams.

A protester is escorted out of the Ohio Senate chamber on January 24 as lawmakers debate overriding Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of House Bill 68. The bill would restrict health care for transgender minors and prevent… Transgender girls are unable to play on women’s sports teams.

The bill’s ban on transgender girls and women in high school and college sports does not specify how schools will verify an athlete’s gender if it is called into question. Players and their families can file a lawsuit if they believe they lost an opportunity because of a transgender athlete.

Currently, the Ohio High School Athletic Association allows transgender girls to join women’s teams if they complete at least one year of hormone treatment. The association has approved seven transgender girls to play girls’ sports for the 2023-24 school year. About 400,000 student-athletes play at the high school level, according to the OHSAA.

What then?

Opponents of House Bill 68 have said they will explore litigation, which they are Played in other states With a ban on gender transition care for young people. A federal judge has struck down an Arkansas law that reverses Ohio’s new policy, but the state is appealing the decision.

“This is not the final word on this issue,” said Kelly Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “This is actually the beginning of the fight to protect our families and children.”

Meanwhile, DeWine has separate policies To address this issue.

Dewayne He signed an executive order Prohibit Ohio hospitals and surgical facilities from performing sex reassignment surgery on minors. His administration also proposed rules for collecting data on transgender medical care and regulating treatment for adults and children with gender dysphoria.

Protesters gather at the Ohio Statehouse on January 24 before the Ohio Senate votes to override Governor Mike DeWine's veto of House Bill 68.

Protesters gather at the Ohio Statehouse on January 24 before the Ohio Senate votes to override Governor Mike DeWine’s veto of House Bill 68.

Under the second proposal, providers would have to have a “contractual relationship” with a psychiatrist and endocrinologist to treat gender dysphoria. They will also be required to create a comprehensive written plan of care that will be reviewed by a medical ethics professional. Patients under the age of 21 must undergo counseling for six months before further treatment.

“I don’t think the governor’s executive order covers a lot of what (House Bill) 68 is about, and it frankly covers something very huge new that 68 did not anticipate,” said Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima. Wednesday.

DeWine said his administration has already received an “unprecedented” number of public comments and plans to adjust the rules accordingly.

“We just want to make sure people get counseling,” DeWine said. “So, we try to strike that balance so that we don’t interfere with what people want to do, but also make sure that good practices are followed for everyone.”

Haley Bimmiller is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, serving the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.

This article originally appeared on the Cincinnati Enquirer website: Ohio Senate overrides veto to restrict health care for transgender athletes

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