Ohio lawmakers pass bill banning child sex changes, blocking biological males from women's sports

Ohio’s HB 68 passed the Senate in a 24-8 vote and the House in a 61-27 vote.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

On Wednesday evening, the Ohio legislature passed a bill blocking doctors from administering child sex changes, as well as blocking trans-identified males from competing on women’s sports teams. The bill now heads to the desk of Republican Governor Mike DeWine.

According to The Hill, Ohio’s HB 68, the "Saving Adolescents from Experimentation Act" and "Save Women’s Sports Act," passed the Republican-controlled chamber in a 24-8 vote. One Republican, Sen Nathan Manning, voted alongside all Democrats against the bill. In the House, the bill passed 61-27, ABC News reports.

Outside the Senate chamber as lawmakers voted, protestors chanted "HRT saves lives," referring to hormone replacement therapy, and "queer books save lives."

The bill blocks physicians from performing sex change surgeries and prescribing cross-sex hormones or puberty blockers for the purposes of gender transition. 

Mental health professionals are prohibited from diagnosing or treating trans-identified minors without the consent of a parent or legal guardian of the minor. Mental health professionals are also prohibited from treating or diagnosing such minors without screening first for other conditions that may be "influencing the minor individual’s gender-related condition" like depression, anxiety, and autism spectrum disorder, as well as abuse or trauma.

Doctors are not blocked from treating minors who were born or diagnosed with disorders of sex development, or have suffered infection, injury, disease, or disorder that was caused or exacerbated by gender transition services.

Sex change procedures and treatments, will not be covered by Medicaid.

Schools are to keep sports teams separated by sex, defined by the legislation as the sex the person was listed as by birth. While male students are expressly prohibited from being on female teams, any student is able to compete on co-ed or male teams.

The bill also prevents courts from denying or limiting a parent’s rights during custody hearings based on a parent’s decision to raise the child as their biological sex and decline medical procedures or mental health treatment to affirm the child’s chosen gender.

"Studies consistently demonstrate that the vast majority of children who are gender nonconforming or experience distress at identifying with their biological sex come to identify with their biological sex in adolescence or adulthood, thereby rendering most medical health care interventions unnecessary," the bill states.

The bill later notes that children are being prescribed puberty blocking drugs or cross-sex hormones to children despite the lack of limited long-term studies, and with risks that include liver dysfunction, coronary artery disease, hypertension, increased breast and uterine cancers, and irreversible infertility in females, and breast cancer, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, and irreversibly infertility in males.

"It is of grave concern to the General Assembly that the medical community is allowing individuals who experience distress at identifying with their biological sex to be subjects of irreversible and drastic non-genital gender reassignment surgery and irreversible, permanently sterilizing genital gender reassignment surgery, despite the lack of studies showing that the benefits of such extreme interventions outweigh the risks," the bill states.

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