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Statement on the Veto of HB 68 - The Gender Affirming Care Ban

I applaud Governor DeWine's decision to veto of HB 68 - the Gender Affirming Care Ban. Among the hundreds of pieces of opponent testimony, physicians from all across the state made it very clear that gender confirmation surgeries for minors are not taking place in Ohio and gender affirming care is lifesaving, medically necessary and effective.

In fact, the argument surrounding "Gender Confirmation Surgery for minors" has always been a red herring, used by the right-wing to scare and stir up hatred among constituents.

Contrary to the statement from my opponent, gender affirming care is not experimental and not a single man is competing in women’s sports - because trans women are women. The party of “small government” and “parental rights” seem perfectly content to expand the role of government into healthcare decisions and completely overrule parental rights, when those patients dare to listen to the medical experts and give lifesaving care to their children.

My opponent is neither a medical expert nor does she have the experience of living as a trans person. The Endocrine Society has cited more than 260 studies in their “Clinical Practice Guidelines,” about gender affirming care and, along with The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, The American Urological Association, The American College of Physicians and many, many others, have referred to gender affirming care as evidence-based care and stated that these “medical decisions should be made by patients, their relatives and health care providers, not politicians.”

HB 68 is not a bill to protect children. It is a bill designed to force families to live as these right-wing, Christian Nationalist politicians prefer. Unlike my opponent, I will stand up for all children - not only the ones who live, love, believe and look like her or myself. This bill, and the attempt to override it’s veto, are yet another example of how the Ohio GOP is more focused on who they can hurt, rather than who they can help.

Having said that, I am not without concern about some of the statements made by Governor DeWine, during his press conference. The Governor stated that he would be directing relevant agencies to put in place rules for gender affirming care, both for minors and trans adults. The implementation of those rules could ultimately make access to gender affirming care for adults more costly and difficult; especially as trans adults are disproportionately impacted by a lack of health insurance and many states have forbidden state Medicaid programs to cover gender affirming care.

I stand strongly with our transgender community, and believe attempts to gatekeep informed adults are a direct assault on our bodily autonomy. So, while I celebrate this victory (the veto of HB 68), I encourage our LGBTQ+ community and allies to remain vigilant in the fight and I will fight any measure that threatens the bodily autonomy of trans adults to make our own decisions about our medical care.

Arienne Childrey

Candidate for Ohio House of Representatives - District 84

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