Ohio Republican lawmakers have reintroduced legislation that would ban providing minors puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones for “gender transitioning” which it’s sponsors postponed last November rather than rushing it through lame duck.
House Bill (HB) 68 known as the Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act sponsored by State Representative Gary Click (R-Vickery) aims to prohibit certain procedures from altering a minor child’s sex.
According to Click, he is re-introducing his bill because it’s important to stop doctors from performing “gender transitioning” surgery on anyone under the age of 18 or from prescribing other “gender transitioning” medications in Ohio.
“This bill will save lives and that’s why we are doing this,” Click said.
According to Click, the legislation is largely unchanged from last years version and would require hospitals to keep anonymous information that would serve as data for determining the future outcomes of the effectiveness of these treatments.
Click claimed that this legislation would also keep physicians from “aiding and abetting” patients in receiving this treatment in other states.
“Basically it says you cannot aid or abet doing this damage to a young person. So anything that you are doing to take a young person, as a medical professional to a place where they are getting illegal hormone blockers, illegal hormones, or illegal surgery is considered aiding and abetting,” Click said.
Click emphasized that this bill only prohibits minors from having surgery and taking medications that might change their bodies, not medical or psychological care.
The SAFE Act has gathered support from approximately three dozen state lawmakers.
The Center for Christian Virtue urges the Ohio General Assembly to take action before these drugs and procedures permanently damage more children.
“The unmitigated greed of the healthcare industry has led to countless children being mutilated and sterilized for life. Sadly, hospitals, schools, and even Planned Parenthood facilities across the state are pressuring families to put children on experimental and dangerous procedures. The Ohio General Assembly needs to take action before more children are permanently harmed,” policy director of the Center for Christian Virtue David Mahan said.
Alliance Defending Freedom said in testimony for the bill last year that there is no scientific proof that these drugs and procedures are safe for minors.
“No studies have shown that these drugs and procedures are safe for children. But the permanent harm they can do is undeniable. The use of puberty blockers, hormone replacement, and radical, irreversible surgery is a dangerous, poorly understood experimental procedure. It pushes vulnerable children down a one-way street that leads to permanent sterility and a lifetime of medical intervention,” Senior Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom Matt Sharp said.
According to an article by the Mayo Clinic, describing the conditions and treatments of gender dysphoria, certain puberty-blocking drugs can have long-term effects on growth spurts, bone growth and density, and future fertility.
According to Click, the bill has the support of both GOP House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) and GOP Caucus leader Derek Merrin (R-Monclova), with Stephens saying he considers it priority legislation.
Last year, the legislation was very controversial, with hundreds of individuals and organizations testifying on behalf of and opposing the bill.
The legislation is currently under review by the Public Health Policy Committee.
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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Gary Click” by The Ohio House of Representatives. Background Photo “Ohio Statehouse” by Carol M. Highsmith.