CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Alice Chao, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866)-372-6397
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Earlier today, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced his decision to veto House Bill 68, also referred to as the Saving Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act. If enacted, the bill will protect Ohio minors from gender-transition procedures (including chemical procedures, surgical procedures, and psychological inducement) or from being diagnosed or subjected to gender transition counseling without the consent of at least one parent, legal custodian, or guardian. It also protects parents from losing custody over this issue--a known problem in Ohio since at least 2018.
Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted yesterday voiced support for HB 68.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement in response:
"Governor Mike DeWine's veto of the SAFE Act will have devastating consequences for Ohio's children, unless the legislature moves to override. Minors cannot drive cars, purchase cigarettes, or consume alcohol legally. Parents cannot take newborn infants home from the hospital without a car seat or allow children to ride in an automobile without a seatbelt. Yet, in the absence of this legislation, there is a green light to alter, and even do irreversible harm, to children's bodies. This is medical experimentation on minors, pure and simple.
"The harmful gender ideology sweeping across our nation creates a growing and urgent need for legislative protection of children vulnerable to life-altering procedures such as puberty-blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones, and irreversible surgeries. Research has not shown that these procedures are effective in improving a patient's mental health. They have serious negative side effects, up to and including permanent sterilization--thus violating the most fundamental principle of medical ethics, 'First, do no harm.'
"A growing number of individuals are coming forward to share their stories about being permanently maimed, highlighting the need for legal remedies. The SAFE Act addresses this critical need while also ensuring that the government never uses taxpayer dollars to pay for experiments that will damage the lives of the next generation.
"This is a sad day for Ohio. However, Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted should be applauded for his decision to stand in support of Ohio's SAFE Act.
"Family Research Council urges Ohio legislators to override Governor DeWine's veto and pass the SAFE Act into law to protect vulnerable children from experimental procedures that cause physiological trauma for those dealing with gender dysphoria. There is no 'right' to inflict dangerous, and often irreversible, procedures on minors, and it is fully within the legitimate power of each state to regulate such practices."
Walt Heyer, a Senior Fellow with FRC, also commented:
"I detransitioned over 30 years ago. I know about consequences. The known consequences of these experimental procedures include infertility, sterility, osteoporosis, liver damage, mental health issues, including suicide ideation, and skeletal bone thinning. Years from now, today's children who are so convinced they need these experimental procedures will be confronted by the tragic personal consequences arising from Governor DeWine's veto."