Governor of Ohio Veto’s Bill Prohibiting Transition Care for Minors
Lawmakers in Ohio passed a measure in December to prohibit transition care for minors. Those in favor of the bill argued that parents are pressured by doctors to sign off on these treatments for their children. The bill also included provisions that would have potentially severe consequences for medical professionals providing such care.
Governor DeWine, in his statement, expressed concern that if the bill were to become law, the government would be dictating what is medically best for a child, as opposed to the child’s parents. He made this decision after visiting hospitals and meeting families affected by gender-affirming care, both positively and negatively.
**Why It Matters: A landmark year for transgender restrictions**
The Ohio bill came at the end of a year that saw a record number of new laws passed to regulate the lives of transgender youth. Before this year, only three states had restrictions on gender transition medical care for minors, but now the count stands at over 20, with several dozen laws enacted regarding how gender is discussed in classrooms and the participation of transgender students in school sports.
Supporters of transition care bans argue that the treatments in minors are relatively new, and the long-term effects are not well studied. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics conducted a systematic review of medical research on the treatments, acknowledging that they can be essential for transgender adolescents who have high rates of depression, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm. Some evidence suggests that puberty blockers and hormones could improve their mental health in the short term.
Testimonies presented in Ohio echoed themes voiced in other statehouses, with medical professionals emphasizing the importance of gender-affirming care for mental well-being and pleading with lawmakers to trust their expertise in these matters.
**What’s Next: Lawmakers could override the veto**
For now, minors in Ohio can continue to receive gender transition treatments, but the Ohio legislature, where Republicans hold a supermajority, could override the Governor’s veto. If this happens, only those who have already been receiving treatments will be able to continue them.
Approximately 100,000 transgender minors live in the 23 states that have laws restricting gender-affirming care, and federal judges have blocked enforcement of these laws in some states while letting them go into effect in others. Many families have even moved across state lines out of fear of the abrupt cutoff of their child’s treatment.
Last month, transgender youth and their families in Tennessee asked the Supreme Court to block the state’s ban on transition care for minors, with the potential for lasting consequences on state bans across the country if the court agrees to hear the case.
In conclusion, the issue of transition care for minors remains a deeply contentious and complex debate, with important implications for the health and well-being of transgender youth.
This article is based on information provided by www.nytimes.com.