Ohio governor has 1 day to sign bill preventing child sex changes after mom of 'two trans kids' demands 'right' to medically transition minors

"Both of my children have attempted suicide."

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has a bill on his desk that would protect children in the state from dangerous medical interventions in service to sex changes.

The bill would stop the practice of doctors medically stopping puberty with puberty blockers, prescribing cross-sex hormones, and encouraging children who allegedly believe they were born in the wrong body from attempting to medically alter their bodies to that they appear more like the opposite sex. It would also protect women's sports from incursion by male athletes. DeWine has not signed it, and has until December 29 to do so.

As of an interview last week, DeWine had not even come to a decision as to what he intends to do. "When I do make that decision," he told local news, "we will do a press conference, and I will explain what I’m doing. I’m going to explain why I’m doing it."

Opponents of the bill, as well as supporters, spoke out in a December 6 hearing in the Senate Government Oversight Committee in that state. Among these were parents who are concerned that the new law would prevent them from sex changing their children. One mom, Laura Robertson-Boyd, spoke about her two transgender children. In the US, only 1.4 percent of minors ages 13-17 identify as a trans, a number far higher than the 0.5 percent of adults who claim that identifier.

Robertson-Boyd said she'd been "writing testimony" for two years in an attempt to pressure states to allow parents to make the decision on whether or not their chidlren should undergo medical sex changes. "My greatest fear for my two transgender children as a parent is the risk of suicide," she said, noting that this concern is "real, it's not hypothetical. Since I first wrote those words, it went from being a fear to being a reality. Both of my children have attempted suicide."

"My second greatest fear for my children," she said, "is the risk of harm from others who want to attack them out of hate simply for who they are. HB 68 represents just that: it is nothing more than bullying and state-sponsored abuse. As a mother, I am incredulous that the Ohio Legislature would intentionally put my children’s lives at risk with this dangerous bill." 

In the City Journal, researcher Leor Sapir debunked the "trans suicide" rhetoric, saying that the studies used to arrive at these numbers were substantially flawed, and that when done accurately, "the disparities in suicidality between gender-distressed and non-gender-distressed youth all but disappeared."

Robertson-Boyd took issue with the bill when it was proposed in the Ohio House in April, and has been an active activist for many years. She works as a volunteer with the Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action for gun safety, a volunteer with Local Matters, teaches culinary medicine at Ohio State's medical center, and volunteers with LGBTQ youth.

Another woman spoke out, draped in a trans flag, saying "I love being trans. My partners are trans, my best friends are trans, my sibling is trans. I would choose being trans in every single lifetime."

She also addressed suicide, saying that the only reason she was standing there was because she got testosterone at 17 years old and "top surgery the minute" she turned 18. "Top surgery" is the cute euphemism for the double mastectomy of healthy breasts. This creates a flat chest look for women who seek to look more male.

Speaking out in favor of the legislation was Prisha Mosely, a woman who underwent transition only to find that it did not make her male, and landed her with irreversible bodily damage.

"As a result of these healthcare providers’ actions," Mosely told legislators, "I have suffered severe and lasting injuries. These injuries are both psychological and physical in nature. My body did not develop the way it should have and does not function normally. I am unable to nurse a child. I do not know if I will be able to conceive and give birth to a child. I have suffered painful and irreversible changes to my genitals. My voice has been permanently damaged. My larynx, crushed by the overgrowth in my throat caused by testosterone, prevents me from singing and raising my voice. Even speaking for long periods hurts. My body aches every day. My muscles burn and my bones ache. I was promised male puberty, and instead, I got menopause. I may not ever get to have children now. I suffer daily with phantom breast syndrome, a waking nightmare in which I am haunted by the ghosts of my missing body parts."

The "Savings Ohio Adolescents from Experimentation" Act would prevent judges from determining custody based on a parent's willingness to sex change their children. The bill would prevent doctors from performing medical sex changes on children and therapists from diagnosing a child as gender dysphoric without parental knowledge, and those therapists would be required to test for mental comorbidities. Ohio would also prevent Medicaid from covering these procedures and drugs.

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