Proposed New Health Care Restrictions Would Make Ohio a Hostile, Unsafe Place for Trans People of All Ages

by Delphine Luneau

Despite Justified Veto of HB68, DeWine Administration Rules Would Impede Health Care Access for Trans Youth and Adults

COLUMBUS — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — criticized two temporary, “emergency” regulations implemented last week, as well as a set of proposed regulations released by Gov. DeWine late last week, that unnecessarily and discriminatorily impact the ability of transgender people to access medically necessary healthcare. The temporary regulations prevent any minor from being able to access surgical care. The proposed regulations would add draconian new hurdles for any trans person – of any age – who attempts to access health care related to their transition in the state.

By creating new, unnecessary regulations that create hurdles for transgender people of all ages to access the medical care they deserve — including making it even more difficult simply to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria — the Governor is doing exactly what he said last week politicians should not do: stand between people and the medical experts who provide their care. The regulations would also propose onerous reporting requirements about transition-related care that put patients at risk of having their private medical histories be identifiable. The proposed regulations would create a government-imposed, unnecessary bottleneck effect that could delay or deny care even in cases where patients and medical professionals agree that it is clearly needed.

“Governor DeWine said it himself when he vetoed HB68: patients, parents and doctors should be making health care decisions, not politicians. These proposed regulations go against those very principles,” said HRC President Kelley Robinson. “We should be trusting parents to care for their children and doctors to provide best practice, lifesaving medical care. The legislature should leave the veto in place, and the DeWine Administration should rescind these dangerous regulations that would interfere with the health care decisions of all transgender Ohioans.”

The proposed regulations come on the heels of the governor’s veto of House Bill 68, legislation that would ban health care for trans youth in Ohio and prevent trans kids from taking part in school sports on teams consistent with their gender identity. The state legislature is expected to vote this week on whether to override the governor’s veto.

Before they can go into effect, the proposed new regulations are subject to an administrative rulemaking process that will include a public comment period. The regulations adopted last week are temporary, and expire in 120 days.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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