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Bill Would Ban Gender Transitioning Medical Treatments For Ohio Children

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Karen Desuyo

Children under 18 would not be allowed to get some medical treatments for gender transitioning if a new Ohio bill passes.

Rep. Gary Click (R-Vickery) is a co-sponsor of the legislation. Right now, he said hormone blockers, surgeries and other medical treatments to prevent puberty are allowed for children who are going through gender dysphoria.

“Many of these kids grow up and feel as they have made a mistake as they get older when really puberty is the natural cure for this," Click said.

State Sen. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) said decisions about this type of treatment should be left to the child, their parents and medical professionals.

“This is the legislature, once again, trying to usurp the counsel of physicians with their patients and stepping into something that is personal, private and it’s none of the General Assembly’s business,” Antonio said.

The bill would ban medical professionals from providing hormones, puberty blockers and surgery for children to transition, even if parents approve of those treatments.

Doctors and hospitals that provide these treatments said it is necessary for some children but Aaron Baer, president of the Center for Christian Virtue, thinks otherwise.

"Hospitals are the worst offenders in this situation. Their greed is driving them to do things that are terrible for children's well-being, terrible for their health and that they don't know the long-term effects of and they are lying to parents," Baer said.

But Maria Bruno with Equality Ohio said this bill goes against the advice of leading medical organizations like the American Academy of Pediatricians and the American Psychiatric Association.

“This is cruel and will lead to harm to transgender children," Bruno says.

This is the third time a bill limiting transition treatments for children has been introduced in Ohio. A similar bill passed in Arkansas earlier this year and has been put on hold by a federal court.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.