Ohio bans transgender medications and surgeries for children under 18

Ohio bans transgender medications and surgeries for children under 18 and bans transgender children from participating in girls' sports

Ohio has approved a ban on transgender medications and surgeries for children under 18 — and a ban on transgender youth from participating in girls' sports.

The state legislature today overrode the governor's veto to clear the way for a ban on prescribing puberty blockers, hormone therapy and gender surgeries to minors.

The bill will take effect in the next 90 days, with doctors who continue to care for minors at risk of losing their medical licenses.

Ohio has become the 23rd state to ban transgender care of minors, amid a wave of legislation passed by Republican-controlled legislatures in recent years. It is also the 24th day banning trans girls from participating in sports at the high school and college levels.

Pictured above is Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, who vetoed the bill. His veto has now been overruled

A young man known only as Kobe has revealed he deeply regrets undergoing gender-affirming surgery after realizing he was not a woman but an effeminate gay man Kayla Lovdahl, now 18 and from California, is suing Kaiser Permanente, claiming she was

A young man known only as Kobe has revealed he deeply regrets undergoing gender-affirming surgery after realizing he was not a woman but an effeminate gay man. Kayla Lovdahl, now 18 and from California, is suing Kaiser Permanente, claiming she was “pressured” into undergoing surgery to have her breasts removed

Supporters of the bill said it was necessary because parents were being “manipulated” by doctors to obtain transgender care for their children.

But activists hit back, arguing politicians should not be involved in families' “private medical decisions.”

Medical bodies such as the American Academy of Pediatrics believe that children should be offered gender-appropriate care and that denying it would amount to “state-sanctioned neglect and emotional abuse.”

But health experts in other countries have called the leading organizations' comments unethical and irresponsible, focusing more on current politics than medicine.

The U.S. has become a political pariah among Western nations on the issue, while other nations, including France, the United Kingdom and Sweden, are all pausing puberty-blocking drugs and surgeries on minors because of concerns about long-term mental and physical health make an impact.

The editor of a prominent medical journal also warned early last year that American children with gender dysphoria were being admitted into surgeries without psychological support.

Dr. Kamran Abbasi, editor-in-chief of the British Medical Journal, also said the U.S. doctors' approach was “not consistent with the weight of the evidence.”

There has also been a surge of American children admitted to gender-affirming surgeries saying they wanted the treatment reversed.

Among them was a young man known only as Kobe who said he bitterly regretted being castrated by doctors after realizing he was just an “effeminate” gay boy who preferred playing with Barbies than with a woman, and Kayla Lovdahl of California, who is suing Kaiser Permanente, claiming she was “pressured” into changing into a man and undergoing surgery to remove her breasts. Luka Hein from Minnesota has also sued a doctor because her breasts were cut off when she was just 16 years old.

The Ohio law passed both the Republican-controlled House and Senate in December, but then the same party's governor, Mike DeWine, vetoed it.

After speaking to families with transgender children, he said the law should not be passed because it would be like the state saying it knows “better” than doctors and parents what is best for a child.

He was then attacked by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who claimed the governor had “gone to the radical left.” He called on the state to override the veto.

A governor's veto can be overridden in Ohio if three-fifths of both the Senate and House of Representatives vote in favor of the move.

Astrid Burkle, 10 years old, is seen with her sister Abs, her mother Alicia and her father Aaron

Astrid Burkle, 10 years old, is seen with her sister Abs, her mother Alicia and her father Aaron

The House voted 65-28 to override the veto on Jan. 10, and the Senate approved the measure today by a vote of 23-9.

The Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law estimates that there are about 8,500 children ages 13 to 17 who identify as transgender in the state.

There are also about 46,500 adults in the state who identify as transgender, it said.

Estimates show that in recent years the prevalence of gender dysphoria has skyrocketed in all but one state – with children under 18 accounting for a fifth of all new cases each year.

The biggest increases were seen in Virginia, Indiana and Utah, where rates more than tripled in the five years from 2018 to 2022 – these are Republican states.

Families who have raised concerns about the Ohio ban include a 10-year-old transgender girl in the state, Astrid Burkle, who is receiving hormone replacement therapy.

Speaking to ABC News, she said she was angry that “mean” people were trying to prevent the treatments.

“It was really frustrating at times,” Astrid said, “because there are just so many people out there who are really mean.”

Her father and mother said the local community supports her, but her sister Abs said they may have to leave Ohio if their treatment is blocked.