COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Legislation that would ban various medical procedures for transgender or non-binary minors is returning to the Ohio Statehouse.
Title the “Saving Adolescents from Experimentation Act,” the bill moved through the statehouse last general assembly but was delayed in November after Representative Gary Click (R-Vickery) decided to postpone the legislation.
“Rep. Click has made the decision to hold off on HB 454,” Click’s office said in a statement in November. “He felt that it would be too much of a rush to get the bill through during lame duck and still get it right.”
The bill would bar healthcare professionals from providing gender-affirming treatment, like hormone replacement therapy, and reconstructive surgery, to trans and gender non-conforming kids in Ohio.
“[Kids] don’t deserve to be pushed into some of these things when they are not able to provide informed consent,” Click said.
However, Director of External Affairs at Equitas Health, Rhea Debussy, said the introduction of this legislation has ramifications.
“These types of attacks cause real harm to our kids and cause real harm to our community,” Debussy said.
Click said there are 40 Republican co-sponsors on board. One provision protects children from what he calls “dangerous drugs.”
“The puberty blockers are the gateway,” Click said. “And they say, ‘it’s just a pause button,’ it is not a pause button. Puberty should start at a certain time.”
The bill also outlines the following:
- Before a child is diagnosed with gender dysphoria, they must be screened for abuse and comorbidities.
- Hospitals must report anonymous data about the number of minors being treated for a gender-related condition to the department of health.
- Prohibiting aiding and abetting.
“Anything that you’re doing to take a young person, as a medical professional, to a place they are getting illegal surgery or hormones is consider aiding and abetting,” Click said.
“The best advice here is to let medical providers do the work they’re supposed to do rather than having elected officials tell them what medical care looks like,” Debussy said.
This bill is listed as a priority for a majority of the republican caucus. While Speaker Of The House Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) did not list the act as a priority last week, Click said Stephens has told him its priority legislation.