A hearing will be held today on a bill that would ban gender-affirming health care for transgender youth. The Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act, also known as the SAVE Act, would prohibit doctors in Ohio from prescribing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgical procedures to people under the age of 18.
Proponents have argued that vulnerable young people confused about their gender become the subject of irreversible and drastic procedures.
Eliana Turan, board member of the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland and a transgender woman, said they were pushing a false narrative of young people in crisis.
“Let’s say you’re a 16-year-old trans kid. In most cases, you’re not going to walk into a doctor’s office and walk out with a bunch of irreversible body changes,” Turan argued. “It’s just not the standard of care in Ohio. I don’t think anyone is trying to push for it.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth. The SAVE Act will have its first hearing with the proponent’s testimony at the Families, Aging and Human Services Committee.
Maria Bruno, director of public policy for Equality Ohio, said such a ban would take control away from doctors, counselors and parents, and harm the mental well-being of transgender and non-binary youth.
“The basic premise is that young trans people are just in a phase that they will grow out of,” Bruno explained. “That’s just not how science and research show it works. In fact, trans-affirming medical care decreases suicidal ideation.”
The SAVE Act has two sponsors and two dozen co-sponsors, all Republicans. Turan said that as an Ohioan, she thinks elected officials should focus on the important issues.
“As a military veteran who served six years in uniform during the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ era, this is not an example of the freedom and protection I worked so hard for. to give to my neighbours,” Turan said. remark. “That’s definitely not the way we should be treating our trans neighbors.”
An Arkansas ban passed last year is temporarily on hold pending a legal challenge. Similar bills have been introduced in more than 30 other states.
Reporting by Ohio News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the George Gund Foundation.
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