Ohio Lawmakers Set Date to Override DeWine’s Veto of Child Protections
Ohio will not permit the transgender industry to carry out surgeries on children under the age of 18 under the terms of a new executive order announced Friday morning. Yet even as Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) announced a series of regulations on transgender procedures, lawmakers revealed the date they plan to override his veto of a bill that would have codified even more child protections into law.
“I signed an executive order just a few moments ago enacting emergency rules that ban gender transition surgeries for minors in any hospital or ambulatory surgical facility in Ohio,” said DeWine during the press conference. “This ban is effective immediately.” He also announced he would soon roll out regulations mandating that transgender-identifying adults have a “lengthy” and “comprehensive” psychological evaluation and receive stronger informed consent before undergoing transgender procedures.
His action did nothing to address the second half of H.B. 68, which protected women’s sports.
Even as the governor affirmed the need to rein in the transgender industry, he doubled-down on his veto. “A week ago today, I vetoed House Bill 68. A week has gone by, and I still feel just as firmly about that as I did that day,” he said.
DeWine said he signed the executive order banning transgender surgeries for minors, because “I think it’s a good way to take this issue off the table” and “talk about other things.”
“I believe parents, not the government, should be making these very crucial medical decisions,” he said.
“The irony is not lost on us that Governor DeWine condemns government intervention in the same breath that he issues executive orders,” said Rep. Gary Click (R-88) in a statement emailed to The Washington Stand.
“I am cautiously optimistic about the governor’s ban on sex reassignment surgeries for minors today,” Click told TWS. But “the governor’s temporary administrative orders are no substitute for solid legislation. Children deserve protection that extends beyond four-year increments.”
“The SAFE Act will not be in effect until 90 days after the Senate overrides the veto on January 24,” Click told TWS — the first time lawmakers had announced a tentative date for the override vote. “That would leave children vulnerable for the next three months, and his decision provides instant protection.”
“There is absolutely no appetite for replacing the SAFE Act through a bureaucratic process. We fully intend to override the governor’s veto beginning on January 10,” when the state House of Representatives returns to session, Click told TWS.
Others agreed DeWine’s executive order did not go far enough. Aaron Baer, president of the Ohio-based Center for Christian Virtue (CCV), denied DeWine’s statement that his executive order “will ensure that surgeries of this type on minors can never happen in Ohio.”
“This is untrue. This simply ensures that while this governor is in office, these surgeries won’t happen,” he retorted. “Just as easily [as] this Governor put the Executive Order in place, the next can repeal this. It’s why we need a law.”
DeWine Wrongly Claims There Is ‘Very Little’ Evidence of Transgender Surgery in Ohio
DeWine saw little need for the executive order, stating he had seen “very little” evidence that transgender surgeries are taking place on minors. “If there are, we should ban them,” he said.
“Despite the governor’s claim to the contrary, these surgeries are occurring in Ohio on a regular basis,” Click told TWS:
- The Cleveland Clinic advertises that, in its transgender surgical center, “Exceptions [are] made for adolescents seeking masculinizing chest surgery,” a double-mastectomy. Such “decisions [are] made on a case-by-case basis.”
- Lee Ann Conard of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center said, “If you’re somebody whose only problem, whose only dysphoria is around a breast issue, maybe we help get you to a breast surgeon. We can help with that.”
- Scott Leibowitz of Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s so-called THRIVE program follows WPATH guidelines (World Professional Association of Transgender Health); the 8th edition of their guidelines released in 2022 removed all age limits and said it depends on the child’s stage of puberty.
- Journalist Colleen Marshall of NBC4 verified that at least one Cleveland-based surgeon carries out such procedures.
Ohio Transgender Clinics Have Plans to Hide Children’s Gender Dysphoria from Parents
Although Governor DeWine cited parental rights in his decision, newly released video footage shows that transgender clinics often act to hide children’s gender dysphoria from parents who are “not affirming.”
“We can refer a child for therapy without the parent knowing that the kid told us they’re transgender, if they’re having significant anxiety and depression,” said Lee Ann Conard, director of the Living with Change Center at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, on a webinar since scrubbed from the hospital’s website. Conard also said children should be asked whether they accept certain traits of the opposite sex “when we’re doing our confidential part of the annual exam” — the same advice Biden administration-funded “experts” give Title X recipients to talk about sex with minors without their parents’ knowledge.
Evie Heflin of the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center can also be seen on the webinar discussing how to hide the fact that a child identifies as transgender from his or her parents. With “families having more direct access to medical records,” Heflin said it is important to “think about how we’re charting and the things that we’re putting in there.” After all, “we want to make sure that we’re able to protect the safety and the privacy of our patients, especially for families that might not be affirming.”
Ohio lawmakers were outraged by the video. “They are so delusional that they think parents should be reclassified as ‘caregivers,’” said State Rep. Josh Williams (R-41).
DeWine’s office reportedly had no comment on the videos.
Transgender Clinics Work with their Own Psychological ‘Experts’
In addition to the executive order, which he mentioned last, DeWine said state regulators would unveil new rules affecting adults who seek transgender procedures. Adults will soon have to spend “a significant period of time with someone who is a professional counselor in the area of mental health” before undergoing hormonal or surgical procedures, he said.
Transgender clinics must also employ a team “including but not limited to an endocrinologist, a bioethicist, and a psychiatrist” to develop “a comprehensive care plan that includes sufficient informed consent from patients, and parents if we’re dealing with a child, of the risk associated with treatment.”
“It’s clear that the most important part is the mental health counseling,” DeWine asserted. “It needs to be lengthy, and it needs to be comprehensive.”
But whistleblower Jamie Reed, a former employee of The Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, revealed that the center provides outside psychiatrists with a “template” form letter attesting that a child identifies as transgender. If the analyst will not sign it, the center uses an in-house psychiatrist who will.
Officials at Ohio-based transgender clinics appear to have the same mindset. “Once the child says ‘I’m transgender,’ the work begins for you of trying to help the family understand and get them into our care,” said Conard in the webinar.
Still, a male LGBT activist who identifies as a female named Allison Chapman, and whose biography says “death before de transition,” deemed DeWine’s mandates “[a]bsolutely [h]orrifying.”
DeWine seemed most excited about the new regulations for adults, taking only lackadaisical interest in the children’s surgical ban at Friday’s press conference. “Look, if the legislature wants to take what I’ve just done here by executive order and make it a permanent law, that’s fine with me,” he said. “There’s a broad, broad consensus against surgeries for minors, so let’s put that into a law so we can move on and talk about other things.” Signing the order, he said, seemed like “a good way to take this issue off the table.”
Ohio legislators promise they will not turn away from the H.B. 68, which passed both Republican-controlled chambers by a veto-proof supermajority. Lawmakers still have robust support to override the veto of DeWine, whom critics called “a stiff,” “a coward,” and “the worst governor in America.”
Women’s Sports, Hormone Injections Ignored by DeWine’s Actions
DeWine did not ban transgender facilities from injecting children with puberty-blockers or cross-sex hormones. “Mind you, in many ways, the hormones and puberty blockers are even worse since families are being lied to that they’re ‘reversible,’” said Baer.
DeWine also did not address the issue of women’s sports, the second topic of H.B. 68, which combined the SAFE Act with the Save Women’s Sports Act. “By vetoing HB 68, Governor Mike DeWine wants men in girls locker rooms” and “men competing against women in female only sports,” said Rep. Jena Powell (R-80), a social conservative. “Ohio should be a state where women have the ability to compete on a level playing field. Override the veto on HB 68.”
Overriding DeWine’s veto would prove popular with Ohio voters. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Ohioans oppose “allowing medical professionals to provide someone younger than 18 with medical care for a gender transition.” A nearly identical supermajority (64%) opposes policies forcing female athletes to compete against men, and a majority (54%) oppose allowing men to use women’s restrooms, according to a 2022 SurveyUSA poll conducted for Baldwin Wallace University.
On Friday morning, CCV urged Ohio residents to “[t]ake 60 seconds to send a message to your State Senator and Representative to encourage them to act quickly and override” the veto, which will “protect kids from dangerous puberty-blocking drugs, wrong-sex hormones, and transgender surgeries, and to preserve the integrity of women’s sports” via their dedicated, rapid-response website: ccv.org/safeact.
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.