(The Center Square) – Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine banned transgender transition surgeries on minors with an executive order Friday.
The move comes a week after he vetoed House Bill 68, which banned the practice and required single-sex sports teams to be established at schools, colleges and universities throughout the state.
“A week has gone by, and I still feel as firmly about that as I did that day,” DeWine said. “I believe parents rather than government should be making those important medical decisions.”
DeWine’s order and subsequent rules proposed for transgender health care for adults and children were the only issues addressed by DeWine on Friday.
“This is something that the entire time when I talked to families, not once did they mention they want to have surgery on their minor child. That was never mentioned,” DeWine said. “This just assures everybody that that will never happen.”
The rules up for public comment with the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction include protections for adults and children receiving transgender care in the state hospitals that would stop what DeWine called “fly-by-night” providers or clinics giving out medications without quality care.
The rules would also require multi-disciplinary teams at hospitals to provide support care, including psychiatrists and a comprehensive plan of the risks associated with the treatment and required mental health counseling.
“I’m doing it because it’s important that we do it,” DeWine said. “When I really started looking at this, these were some holes that need to be filled. One, we needed data. We don’t have data on this. Whatever the Legislature does, we’re going through with this. I spent time looking at this and talking to people, and it’s clear the most important thing with this is mental health counseling. It needs to be lengthy, and it needs to be comprehensive.”
The bill DeWine vetoed would prohibit gender-affirming care, such as hormone blockers, hormone replacement therapy and surgery for transgender youth.
It would also require K-12 schools, state colleges and universities and private colleges and universities to have separate single-sex teams for each sex. It also creates legal remedies for violations.
Republicans in the House and Senate have enough control in each chamber to override DeWine’s veto. They have until the session ends at the end of this year to do it.
Earlier this week, neither the House nor the Senate had sessions planned until later in the month. However, the House changed Wednesday’s “if needed” session date to an actual scheduled session.