Republican lawmakers in the Ohio House introduced legislation on Tuesday, Feb. 11 that would punish physicians for helping transgender children medically transition, Cleveland.com reports.
The draft bill, sponsored by Representatives Bill Dean (Dayton) and Ron Hood (Pickaway County), follows similar plans proposed in other states, including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, New Hampshire and South Carolina. The South Dakota House recently passed a resolution banning medical transition for those under 16, though a Senate committee vetoed the bill 5-2 on Monday.
The Ohio bill’s largest supporter is the Christian lobbyist group Citizens for Community Values, which argues that medically transitioning harms children.
“What we’re trying to accomplish in this bill is that these procedures cannot be done,” Hood told Cleveland.com. “[Treatment with puberty blockers] would cause sterilization, irreparable damage to children that can’t be reversed.”
However, according to the Mayo Clinic, puberty blockers do not cause sterilization. When stopped, in the absence of other hormone therapy or gender-affirming treatment, puberty progresses as it otherwise would.
Those who oppose the bill, including LGBTQ+ activists and practicing physicians, believe such a plan would force doctors to violate the Hippocratic Oath and endanger the well-being of transgender children.
“This bill does nothing to protect our youth,” James Knapp, chair of TransOhio, said in an interview with WOSU Public Media. “Instead, it takes important decision-making power out of the hands of young patients, their parents and their doctors and gives it to politicians who do not understand their health concerns or needs.”
Dean and Hood are still finalizing a draft of the bill and plan to introduce it in committee upon its completion.