Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has issued an executive order that immediately prohibits gender transition-related surgeries for minors in the state.
This action follows his recent veto of a bill restricting healthcare for transgender minors and barring transgender girls from participating in school sports teams, reported USA Today.
The executive order positions Ohio as the second US state to specifically outlaw transition-related surgeries for minors, following Arizona’s similar legislation in 2022.
Over the past two years, more than twenty states have introduced legislation to restrict gender transition healthcare for minors, including puberty blockers and hormone therapy.
However, legal challenges have arisen, with courts in states such as Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Montana, Idaho, and Indiana blocking these restrictions.
Several medical associations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the American Psychological Association, advocate for minors’ access to gender-affirming care and stand against such state bans, reported NBC News.
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According to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), surgeries for minors are uncommon and typically not recommended, except for double mastectomies in select cases while genital surgery is not available to minors.
Governor DeWine also expressed concerns about clinics providing hormone therapy to transgender adults without adequate psychiatric care.
Consequently, he has announced new administrative rules for individuals seeking transition-related care, which will be subject to public comment and enforced by the Ohio Department of Health and Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
The Ohio General Assembly retains the power to override the governor’s veto with a three-fifths majority vote.