Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) vetoed a bill last week which would have outlawed sex change procedures and drugs for minors, and would have prevented biological males from competing in women’s sports.
“This state has a compelling government interest in protecting the health and safety of its citizens, especially vulnerable children,” said the Ohio bill.
Gov. DeWine disagreed.
DeWine opposed the bill on the grounds that procedures which chemically or physically alter minors irreparably should be decided by doctors and parents, and should not be banned by the government.
“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, the parents,” said DeWine at a press conference discussing his decision.
DeWine claimed that his decision was “pro-life,” believing that transgender procedures for minors save the lives of children.
The Ohio bill would also have prevented transgender athletes from competing in sports against people not of their biological sex, on the grounds that a biological male competing in girls’ sports will have an unfair advantage.
DeWine has received heavy backlash from other Republicans for his decision to veto the bill.
U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) criticized DeWine on X, saying that the governor’s attempt to frame his decision as a win for parental rights was merely a slogan.
“This slogan also ignores the extraordinary pressure from interest groups and big pharma to green light poorly understood, irreversible procedures,” said Sen. Vance.
Although DeWine’s veto can be overridden by a three-fifths vote of the state legislature, such an outcome is unlikely considering the bill passed through the legislature originally with a margin higher than three-fifths.
Similar bills to limit sex procedures for children and block biological boys from competing in girls’ sporting events failed to secure support in Maine’s legislature last year.