Ohio Bars Gender Surgeries For Minors

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed an executive order barring elective gender change surgery in line with an increasing number of states. The move came just a week after the governor vetoed an earlier version of the bill.

DeWine said that he “still feel[s] as firmly” about his veto as he did last week. He said that “parents rather than government should be making those important medical decisions.”

However, the governor said that he spoke to the families of children who attempted to transition genders, and that “not once did they mention they wanted to have surgery on their minor child.”

Republicans in the state legislature discussed overriding the governor’s veto. While a second vote has not happened, the initial bill passed with a significant majority, with a revised vote likely having enough votes to override DeWine’s veto.

DeWine notably rejected the measure passed by the Republican-led state legislature. House Bill 68 aimed to bar not only the surgeries but also hormonal treatment.

The Enact Ohio Saving Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act had the support of a significant majority of legislators.

In vetoing the initial bill, DeWine said that he “listened to youth and parents. Parents who have told me if not for this treatment, their child would be dead.”

“The consequences of this bill could not be more profound,” the governor said. “Ohio would be saying the state, the government, knows better than the two people who love that child the most, the parents.”

An increasing number of states have restricted gender transition treatment in recent years, including Florida under Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

DeWine received considerable criticism from conservatives after vetoing the measure. Activist and athlete Riley Gaines said that if elected officials could not “protect children and women, it’s time we elect new leaders.”

Gaines received notoriety for speaking out about having to share a locker room with transgender athlete Lia Thomas, who is a biological male. Gaines has been vocal about protecting women’s sports and the rights of children and has become increasingly politically active.