Lawmakers passed the measure earlier in December. Supporters of the bill argued that parents are pressured by doctors to approve transition treatments for their children. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Gary Click, said parents were being “manipulated by doctors.”
In addition to banning transitional care for minors, the bill provides that medical professionals who provide this care could lose their licenses and be sued. It also prohibits transgender girls and women from playing on high school and college sports teams that match their gender identity.
On Friday, Mr. DeWine said that if the bill became law, “Ohio would be saying that the state, the government, knows better what is medically best for a child than the two people who love that child the most , the parents.”
The governor made his decision after visiting hospitals and meeting with families “both positively and negatively affected” by gender-affirming care last week, a spokesperson said.
Why it matters: A landmark year for transgender restrictions.
Ohio’s bill came at the end of a year in which a record number of new laws were passed to regulate the lives of transgender youth.
Before this year, only three states had passed restrictions on gender transition-related medical care for minors, according to a New York Times analysis. The number now stands at more than 20. Several dozen laws, including how gender can be discussed in classrooms, which bathrooms transgender students can use and whether they can participate in sports schools, were promulgated this year.
Ohio’s testimony echoes themes expressed in other states. Supporters of banning transitional care have argued that treatments for minors are relatively new and their long-term effects are not well studied.
This summer, the American Academy of Pediatrics commissioned a systematic review of medical research on these treatments, while considering that they may be essential. Transgender adolescents have high rates of depression, suicidal thoughts and self-harmAnd some evidence suggests as puberty blockers and hormones, short term, could improve their mental health.
“The most painful part of my job is informing parents that their child has died, especially when the death was due to a preventable suicide,” said Dr. Steve Davis, CEO of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. , to Ohio senators during a hearing on the bill. “You trust us in all other conditions. Please trust us on this.
What’s next: Lawmakers could override the veto.
For now, minors in Ohio can continue to receive gender transition treatment. But the Ohio legislature, where Republicans hold a supermajority, could override Mr. DeWine’s veto. If this is the case, only those who have already received treatment will be able to continue them.
According to the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, about 100,000 transgender minors live in the 23 states with laws restricting gender-affirming care. Federal judges have blocked enforcement of the laws in some states and let them take effect in others. Many families, fearing the abrupt end of their child’s treatment, have crossed state lines.
Last month, transgender youth and their families in Tennessee asked the Supreme Court to block the state’s ban on transitional care for minors. If the court agrees to hear the case, it would have consequences for state bans across the country, legal experts said.
Anna Betts reports contributed.