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Ohio House votes to override governor’s veto of gender-affirming care ban for minors

By Sara Smart and Kaanita Iyer, CNN

(CNN) — The Ohio House of Representatives voted Wednesday to override Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of a ban on gender-affirming care for minors.

The 65-28 vote comes after the governor announced last month that he would veto the ban because he believes the state should not be making medical decisions for children.

“I continue to believe it is in the best interests of children for these medical decisions to be made by the child’s parents and not by the government,” DeWine said in a statement following the override vote.

The bill will now head to the Republican-led state Senate for another vote.

House Bill 68, also known as the Saving Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act, would prohibit gender-affirming care for trans and nonbinary youth, including hormone blockers, hormone replacement therapy and some mental health services.

It would also prevent transgender athletes from playing on girls’ and women’s sports teams.

A provision of the measure that bans gender-transition surgeries for minors is already in effect after DeWine issued an executive order last week to prohibit such procedures, though he acknowledged they are rarely performed on children.

Gender-affirming care spans a range of evidence-based treatments and approaches that benefit transgender and nonbinary people. The types of care vary by the age and goals of the recipient, and are considered the standard of care by many mainstream medical associations.

When announcing his veto last month, which was applauded by LGBTQ+ advocates, Dewine said that trans adults and parents of trans youth had told him how lifesaving gender-affirming care could be.

But proponents of the restrictions have argued that they protect women and children.

Republican State Rep. Gary Click, the bill’s primary sponsor, celebrated Wednesday’s House vote.

“It is hard to fathom that we live in a society that would tell children that they need drugs and scalpels to live their authentic lives or that treats women as second-class citizens in their own spaces,” Click said in a statement shared on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “These are horrible, harmful, and hurtful messages for Ohio’s youth and it is remarkable that we would even need a law to affirm these common-sense policies.”

Transgender rights have become a polarizing issue in many states and 2023 saw a record number of anti-LGBTQ bills, many of which target gender-affirming care and sports participation. Several Democratic-led states have moved to enact protective measures, while GOP-led state legislatures have passed bans and other restrictions.

If the state Senate once again votes in favor of the measure, Ohio will join state legislatures in North Carolina and Louisiana in overriding its governor’s veto to enact restrictions on transgender youth.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Jay Croft and Jeff Winter contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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