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Ohio’s Controversial Anti-Trans Youth Legislation Inches Closer to Reality

Ohio is on the brink of implementing a restrictive measure targeting transgender youth, as House Bill 68 awaits Governor Mike DeWine’s decision. 

The bill, passed by the Ohio legislature, aims to curtail healthcare options and sports participation for transgender youth, joining a wave of similar legislation in several states.

House Bill 68 and Restrictions on Transgender Youth

If signed into law, House Bill 68 would prohibit transgender youth from accessing gender-confirming surgery and non-surgical interventions, including hormone treatments and puberty blockers. 

Additionally, the bill would restrict transgender girls from participating in female sports teams despite the absence of evidence suggesting unfair advantages under current policies.

Governor DeWine, who has a mixed record on LGBTQ+ legislation, has ten business days to sign or veto the bill. In 2021, he expressed the view that matters concerning transgender youth participation in school athletics were best addressed outside of government through individual sports leagues and athletic associations.

However, the governor’s stance shifted in the same year when he signed legislation allowing medical providers in the state to refuse treatment for LGBTQ+ individuals based on their “moral, ethical, or religious beliefs.”

House Bill 68 has faced opposition from various quarters, including the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association. Nick Lashutka, the association’s president, testified against the legislation, highlighting the high standards Ohio doctors adhere to in providing gender-affirming care.

He emphasized the potential dangers of government interference in dictating when medication is appropriate in pediatrics.

Read more: Florida Students Take A Stand: Walkout Sparked By Transgender Sports Disagreement

Ohio Hospitals Challenge Gender-Affirming Care Restrictions

Ohio is on the brink of implementing a restrictive measure targeting transgender youth, as House Bill 68 awaits Governor Mike DeWine’s decision.

Lashutka shared statistics indicating that of the 3,300 patients treated at Ohio’s children’s hospitals in the past decade, only 7% were prescribed puberty blockers, and 35% were prescribed hormones. He emphasized that children’s hospitals in the state do not perform gender-affirmation surgeries on minors.

While the effects of non-surgical treatments are generally reversible, long-term use may result in permanent changes. However, major medical groups emphasize the mental health risks associated with banning gender-affirming care for transgender youth, a demographic with high rates of attempted suicide in the United States.

As Ohio awaits Governor DeWine’s decision, advocates for LGBTQ+ rights are closely monitoring the situation, expressing concerns about the potential impact on the well-being and medical care of transgender youth in the state.

Read more: Phoenix Police Make Progress: Three Detained In Murder Case Involving Anti-LGBTQ Motive

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