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HomeSportsOhio Gov. Mike DeWine vetoes bill restricting transgender health care, sports participation

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine vetoes bill restricting transgender health care, sports participation

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine vetoed a bill limiting transgender athletes and care on Friday. File Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 29 (UPI) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday vetoed a bill that would have restricted transgender girls from female athletic events and curtailed transitioning medical care. Dewine, a Republican, went against the GOP-led legislature in vetoing the bill that would have barred transgender girls and women from playing on female high school and college athletics teams blocked doctors from prescribing hormones, puberty blocked, or gender reassignment surgery to patients younger than 18. Advertisement
“Were I to sign House Bill 68, or were House Bill 68 to become law, Ohio would be saying that the state, that the government knows better what is medically best for a child than the two people who love that child the most, their parents,” DeWine said after visiting children’s hospitals, speaking with families and reviewing testimony that supported and opposed the measure.
DeWine said during a news conference, though, that he will direct his administration to draft rules to ban gender-affirming surgeries in Ohio for minors, to collect data on when such procedures are performed in Ohio on both children and adults and ban “pop-up clinics” that perform such medical treatment.
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His veto, however, may not stand, as the bill passed state the House and Senate with supermajorities, allowing lawmakers to assemble and override the decision.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, a 2026 possible gubernatorial candidate when DeWine is term-limited, said he supported House Bill 68.
“I support it for two main reasons: Men should not compete in women’s sports. Permanent medical decisions concerning gender should not be made when you are a child. I hope the SAFE Act will become law in Ohio,” Husted said on X, formerly Twitter.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association said less than 15 transgender students a year play sports under its transgender policy, which requires trans-student-athletes to take hormones for at least a year or show by way of sound medical evidence that they don’t possess any physical or physiological advantages over genetic females.
Mainstream medical associations generally support gender-affirming care in the form of hormones and surgical sex changes in children are rare, according to the American Psychological Association.
The Endocrine Society praised DeWine’s veto of a bill that “contradicts mainstream medical practice and scientific evidence and would have taken medical decision-making out of the hands of families and their physicians.”
The society in June worked with other medical groups in American Medical Association House of Delegates to pass a resolution to protect access to evidence-based care for transgender and gender-diverse people. In the resolution, AMA committed to oppose any criminal or legal penalties against patients seeking gender-affirming care and clinicians who would provide such care.
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More than 2,000 studies have examined access of gender-affirming care since 1975, including more than 260 studies cited in the Endocrine Society’s clinical practice guideline.

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