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Ohio lawmakers push to outlaw youth transgender procedures

'Ohio's most vulnerable children are being subjected to experimental, unproven, and expensive treatments and surgeries'

ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Lawmakers in yet another state are taking a stand to prevent medical professionals from performing with transgender transition procedures on minor-aged children.

State Rep. Ron Hood (R) told the Cincinnati Inquirer that, under the provisions of the "Protect Vulnerable Children Act" — which he plans to introduce — doctors could be charged with a third-degree felony if they helped someone under the age of 18 with a transgender procedure, and that his primary concern in introducing it is "by far and away, is the irreversible nature of these procedures."

"What we are concerned about here is Ohio's most vulnerable children are being subjected to experimental, unproven, and expensive treatments and surgeries," Hood said at a Tuesday news conference about the proposal, according to WKYC-TV. "Obviously these procedures bring about sterilization which is a very, very permanent decision that is being made at such a young age."

A Cleveland.com story noted that the bill — which is also being sponsored by state Rep. Bill Dean (R) — was still in the process of being drafted as of Tuesday.

According to a story at the Dayton Daily News, the bill would not only would outlaw the practice of performing transgender procedures on minors and provide criminal penalties for doing so, it would also allow for civil lawsuits against medical professionals and prohibit authorities from revoking custody of a child for not consenting to a child's desire to transition.

The bill's announcement was swiftly denounced by Equality Ohio, which called it an "extreme attack on transgender youth" in a Tuesday news release.

"Kids have it hard enough without Ohio House Representatives Hood and Dean invading their pediatrician's appointment," said Alana Jochum, executive director of Equality Ohio, in the release. "Here's what I know about youth: They have the best environment to thrive when they are supported and can get the health care they need. Instead, this bill promises burden and harassment."

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio also weighed in on the proposed legislation, tweeting that it was "time to stop these harmful attacks on transgender youth and focus on issues that really matter to the people of Ohio."

The legislation would be the latest in a long list of state-level efforts to keep children from undergoing transgender procedures. Hood and Dean's announcement came just one day after a South Dakota Senate committee voted against a House-passed bill that would have similarly barred transgender medical treatments on minors.

Meanwhile, a story at USA Today reports that trans activists are preparing for fights against similar efforts in states such as Missouri, South Carolina, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Florida.

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