CV NEWS FEED // Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday signed an emergency executive order that critics are calling a significantly weaker version of the child protection bill he vetoed last week.
While the governor’s order will ban “transgender” surgical procedures on minors, most observers agree it is a far cry from HB 68, the comprehensive legislation he rejected on December 29.
Cleveland.com reported that the order “goes into effect immediately while it undergoes the administrative rulemaking process that requires public comment and clearance of two panels.”
However, unlike HB 68, DeWine’s “executive order does not protect children from dangerous, experimental puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones and does nothing to safeguard fairness on the playing field for female athletes,” the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) noted in a press release.
“Gov. DeWine’s ‘emergency’ executive order blatantly fails to protect Ohio’s children,” said ADF Senior Counsel Matt Sharp:
Let’s be crystal clear: growing evidence shows that the long-term use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones hurts a child’s physical, emotional, and psychological development in ways that we still don’t understand. These dangerous, experimental drugs put kids on a one-way street to surgical procedures and a lifetime of consequences.
“We urge the Ohio Legislature to put the state’s children, women, and families first and swiftly override the governor’s misguided veto of [HB] 68,” added Sharp, the director of the ADF’s Center for Legislative Advocacy.
The day before DeWine’s executive order, Tyler Arnold of the Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported that “Republican lawmakers in Ohio plan to override Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto” of HB 68.
“Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, both Republicans, voiced support for Republican efforts to override the governor’s veto,” Arnold added.
LaRose is running in Ohio’s U.S. Senate election this year for a seat formerly held by DeWine.
“Ultimately, I believe this is about protecting human life,” DeWine wrote last week in a statement explaining why he vetoed HB 68:
Many parents have told me that their child would be dead today if they had not received the treatment they received from an Ohio children’s hospital. I have also been told, by those that are now grown adults, that but for this care, they would have taken their lives when they were teenagers.
“Were I to sign [HB 68] or were [HB 68] to become law, Ohio would be saying that the State, that the government, knows what is best medically for a child rather than the two people who love that child the most, the parents,” the governor argued.
Even after signing the executive order, DeWine seems to have no regrets about his widely criticized veto.
“A week has gone by, and I still feel just as firmly as I did that day,” the governor said Friday. “I do believe the parents, not the government, should be making these crucial decisions.”
“[HB 68] did not target parental rights,” wrote The National Review’s Madeleine Kearns. “It protected them. What the act did do was outlaw medical malpractice on minors.”
DeWine is a self-professed Catholic.
He is the second-oldest governor in the country and was first elected to political office in 1976.
The Daily Wire’s Brent Scher reported Friday that an Ohio children’s hospital that “actively lobbied” DeWine to veto HB 68 “has grossly misrepresented its approach to parental involvement in decisions.”
“Internal training shows that Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, which donated thousands to [DeWine] and lobbied him to veto a transgender surgery ban for minors, trains doctors on how to circumvent parents who don’t support sex-change procedures,” Scher wrote on X (formerly Twitter) Friday.
Before the video was leaked, the hospital claimed “that parental involvement is a priority,” Scher noted:
Steve Davis, the hospital’s president and CEO, testified that the bill “would hinder doctors and parents from collaboratively deciding the best treatment for their children.” He also stated that parental consent is always required.
“My name is Lee Ann Conard, my pronouns are she, her, hers, and I’m going to talk to you about the community support tool,” said one of the doctors in the training video.
According to her profile on Cincinnati Children’s website, Conard is a doctor of osteopathic medicine and the director of the hospital’s Transgender Health Clinic.
“If you have a child who’s passing out, has syncope, the community support tool really helps you determine your work-up,” she said. “For us, once a child says ‘I’m transgender,’ the work begins for you of trying to help the family understand and get them into our care so that we can help.”
Conard repeatedly used the word “caregiver” to refer to parents: “Things that we look for include the caregiver being dismissive. ‘My kid says they’re a girl and we just don’t think that’s real.’”
“Let’s start with the young children who aren’t in school yet,” the doctor continued, “We’re asking the caregiver at the annual well visit, ‘Do you have any questions or concerns about your child’s gender?’”
Conard then said that she regularly asks school-aged children if they consider themselves a “boy, a girl, or somewhere in between?”
Later in the video, she explained how she keeps some kids’ so-called “transgender identities” secret from their parents:
Some kids aren’t ready to tell the parents, and we shouldn’t out them. There may be reasons. There may be comments the parents have made about transgender people that make the child feel not safe about telling them.
We can refer a child for therapy without the parent knowing that the kid told us they’re transgender. If they’re having significant anxiety and depression, the other thing is menstrual suppression.