Ohio governor who vetoed bill protecting children from transgender interventions received $40,000 from hospitals that provide sex changes
01/03/2024 // Cassie B. // Views

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine took an unusual stance for a Republican lawmaker when he vetoed a bill that would have protected children from sex change treatments and operations. But once you follow the money, it’s clear why he took such a stance.

On Friday, DeWine vetoed House Bill 68, which would have banned doctors from prescribing dangerous cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers to minors, in addition to prohibiting boys from participating in girls’ sports. The veto was handed down just hours before the deadline.

According to the Daily Caller News Foundation, donation records from 2018 to 2023 indicate that Governor DeWine received more than $40,000 from children's hospitals that support and profit from transgender medical care. For example, the Ohio Children's Hospital Association donated $10,000 to DeWine in 2018 and a further $10,000 in 2022, while ProMedica donated $10,000 to him in 2018. ProMedica set up an LGBTQ+ Patient and Family Advisory Council that aims to educate healthcare providers on how to be more inclusive of members of this community as part of a broader objective to help transgender patients receive medical care.

Nationwide Children's Hospital, meanwhile, donated $5,000 in 2018 and a further $5,000 in 2023. This hospital is the home to the THRIVE Gender Development Program, which offers a range of services that include “management of gender-affirming medications, inclusive sexual and reproductive health care, menstrual management and other affirming interventions.”

One of the affiliates of the Ohio Children's Hospital Association who donated to DeWine, Cincinnati Children's, operates a transgender health center that works with patients whose ages range from just 5 to 24. The hospital's website indicates that it provides children with cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers with consent from their family and does not list an age limit.

The president of the Ohio Children's Hospital Association, Nick Lashutka, testified against the bill and accused it of taking away the rights of transgender children and their parents. He thanked the governor following the veto.

“We are thankful for Governor DeWine’s thoughtful approach in thoroughly researching the issue of gender-affirming care and vetoing Sub HB 68 today. We welcome the opportunity to work with the Governor, the Ohio General Assembly and relevant state agencies to ensure Ohio’s youth have access to the critical care they need while also addressing concerns raised during debate on HB 68,” he said in a statement.

DeWine is one of a few Republicans unwilling to protect children from risky transgender interventions

DeWine is one of a very short list of Republicans who have taken measures that support risky sex changes in children. In April 2021, the governor of Arkansas at the time, Asa Hutchinson, vetoed a similar bill and then lost his post to Sarah Huckabee Sanders in the next Republican primary. The Republican governor of Nevada, Joe Lombardo, signed a bill last year forcing insurance companies to cover sex change operations for minors when the procedure is recommended by a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist and a physician.

The senior counsel for the nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom, Matt Sharp, characterized DeWine’s move as a “betrayal to children, families and women throughout Ohio,” noting that there are other ways that children who experience gender dysphoria can be helped without resorting to “dangerous medicalization."

He said that psychology, counseling and other methods that do not have physical side effects should be prioritized in helping children get through gender dysphoria.

According to the American College of Pediatricians, there are no long-term studies demonstrating that surgeries, cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers are safe or effective for children, and many of these interventions have been associated with serious physical and mental health problems.

Sources for this article include:





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