Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has vetoed a bill to ban life-altering gender treatments for children.
DeWine issued a veto of the bill on Friday at the eleventh hour.
The legislation would ban doctors from performing irreversible sex-change medical procedures on minors.
It also bars males from competing in women’s sports.
The bill was introduced by Republican state Rep. Gary Click in February.
Earlier this month, the measure was overwhelmingly approved by the Ohio House of Representatives and the state Senate.
During a press conference, DeWine issued a lengthy statement about his discussions with families who claimed that their children would be dead without so-called “gender-affirming care.”
Just hours before the deadline, the governor said that he had vetoed the bill.
“Were I to sign House Bill 68 … Ohio would be saying that the government knows better what is medically best for the child than the two people who love that child the most, the parents,” DeWine said.
“Now, while there are rare times in the law in other circumstances, where the state overrules the medical decisions made by their parents, I can think of no example, where this is done not only against the decision of the parents but also against the medical judgment of the treating physician and against the judgment of the treating team of medical experts.
“Therefore, I cannot sign this bill as it is currently written.”
The bill banned doctors from prescribing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, and from performing transgender surgeries on minors, according to the text.
During the press conference, DeWine said that his administration is going to work to draft rules to prevent minors from accessing this kind of medical treatment.
DeWine did not clarify when asked if he was just opposed to banning “non-surgical gender-affirming treatments.”
“I’m in favor of what I’ve said, which is what I’m in favor of parents making these very difficult decisions, not the government,” he said.
DeWine also made little mention of the sports ban until asked about it by reporters.
The governor has previously expressed his disapproval of transgender sports bans.
He claimed that he focused on the part of the bill that “affected the most people.”
“The second sports part of this bill is certainly important, but it affects just a handful, literally a handful of children,” he said.
“The part that I’ve addressed affects many more … and I did not ever get to the second or second issue and that’s enough for one gulp at this anyway.”