COLUMBUS (LifeSiteNews) — Ohio’s moderate Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has signed an executive order banning “gender transition” surgery for minors following his veto of legislation that would have more comprehensively protected gender-confused children, though conservatives say the new measure still falls short.
HB 68, the Saving Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, would have forbidden courts from considering a parents’ refusal to “affirm” a child’s gender confusion as weighing against their parental rights, prohibited physicians from surgically or chemically “transitioning” minors, required mental health professionals to check for other mental health disorders before diagnosing a minor with a condition related to gender confusion, and banned schools and interscholastic athletic organizations from allowing gender-confused males to compete in athletic teams intended for females.
At the end of December, DeWine vetoed the bill, claiming to have spoken with “many parents” who suggested that their children would have committed suicide had they not underwent gender mutilation – a scientifically baseless assertion – and that to sign HB 68 “would be saying that the State, that the government, knows what is best medically for a child rather than the two people who love that child the most, the parents,” despite the fact that “gender transitioning” is known to cause lifelong physical and mental damage.
The governor also claimed to “share a number of” the concerns raised by the bill’s proponents and “agree that action is necessary regarding a number of issues raised.” To that end, DeWine said he was directing relevant agencies to “begin work on administrative rules” to address some of them, including that “no surgery of this kind should ever be performed on those under the age of 18.”
The move sparked strong disapproval from conservatives and anti-transitioning activists, and on January 5, DeWine delivered part of his attempt to calm the controversy by signing Executive Order 2024-OlD, which provides for the immediate adoption of Ohio Department of Health rules drafted to “prohibit gender transition surgeries on anyone under the age of 18 in Ohio’s hospitals and health care facilities, including ambulatory surgical facilities.”
“A week has gone by, and I still feel just as firmly as I did that day,” DeWine told reporters Friday, NBC News reports. “I believe the parents, not the government, should be making these crucial decisions for their children.” He also announced new rules to prevent “fly-by-night” clinics from dispensing hormones to adults and minors alike “without the lead-in psychiatric care that we know is so very, very important.”
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRosa called the executive order a “day late and a dollar short,” noting that it “doesn’t protect fairness in women’s sports, and the next governor could unilaterally repeal it.” Heritage Foundation policy expert Sarah Parshall Perry added that the order only blocks underage surgeries and not chemical “transitioning” for minors and panned his invocation of parental rights:
Governor DeWine’s executive order is a day late and a dollar short.
It doesn’t protect fairness in women’s sports, and the next governor could unilaterally repeal it.
Override the veto of HB 68. https://t.co/5zOOOUYj4Z
— Frank LaRose (@FrankLaRose) January 5, 2024
DeWine reached for low-hanging fruit — banning the surgical butchery of vulnerable minors — rather than signing the comprehensive legislative package presented to him by a majority of his state’s legislators.
This is capitulation to a vocal minority, plain & simple.
— Sarah Parshall Perry (@SarahPPerry) January 5, 2024
But the hospital misrepresented its efforts to involve parents.
Footage acquired by Daily Wire revealed the hospital’s training sessions taught doctors tactics to circumvent surgery-skeptical parents and how to actively move children in the direction of surgical procedures.
— Sarah Parshall Perry (@SarahPPerry) January 5, 2024
In addition, Republican state Rep. Gary Click, who sponsored HB 68, confirmed to the Washington Stand that Ohio Republican lawmakers will work to override DeWine’s veto.
“Momentum is on our side, and we will see this through. We will win this,” Click said.
“I haven’t engaged with hurting families, or tearful victims nor spent sleepless nights and long hours speaking to professionals, leafing through dry medical journals, and well-written books, researching the trends from Ohio to the Netherlands to give up at the one-yard line,” he added. “The lives and futures of Ohio’s youth are far too precious for me to quit now. We will see this to the end with a determined resolve to make the Buckeye State a safe haven for women and children. They cannot afford for me or my colleagues to quit now, and we won’t!”
Studies find that more than 80% of children experiencing gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence and that even full “reassignment” surgery often fails to resolve gender-confused individuals’ heightened tendency to engage in self-harm and suicide — and may even exacerbate it, including by reinforcing their confusion and neglecting the actual root causes of their mental strife.
Many oft-ignored detransitioners have attested to the physical and mental harm of reinforcing gender confusion, as well as to the bias and negligence of the medical establishment on the subject, many of whom take an activist approach to their profession and begin cases with a predetermined conclusion in favor of “transitioning.”
Some such physicians have also been caught on video admitting to more old-fashioned motives for such procedures, as with an exposé last year about Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Clinic for Transgender Health, where Dr. Shayne Sebold Taylor said outright that “these surgeries make a lot of money.”