• Wed. May 22nd, 2024

ACLU Sues Ohio over Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Transgender Youth: Two 12-Year-Old Girls at the Forefront of Legal Battle

BySamantha Jones

Mar 27, 2024
Lawsuit filed against Ohio for restricting health care options for transgender youth

The ACLU of Ohio has filed a lawsuit against the state in an attempt to block a ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas on behalf of two 12-year-old transgender girls and their families, one from Hamilton County and one from Franklin County. The plaintiffs argue that HB 68, which is set to become law in less than a month, would cause them to lose “critical, medically necessary health care.”

The ACLU’s Legal Director Freda Levenson stated that the ban is cruel and unconstitutional. She argued that HB 68 goes against the Ohio Constitution by breaking a single-subject rule for legislation and discriminating against trans minors. In addition to the transition treatment ban, HB 68 blocks them from participating on youth teams that align with their gender identity.

The amendment backed by GOP lawmakers worried about Obamacare restricting health care choices more than a dozen years ago is also being cited by the ACLU as a reason for why HB 68 is unconstitutional. Major American medical associations back puberty blockers and other treatments for trans youth, Levenson said, which is why she wants physicians to continue prescribing care for patients under the current status quo. “The interventions that are prohibited are the medical profession’s standard of care treatments,” she said.

Rep. Gary Click (R-Vickery) was instrumental in HB 68’s passage and knew a lawsuit would materialize. He said he vetoed the bill late last year but almost all GOP lawmakers voted during sessions of the Ohio House and Senate to override that veto in January. Click stated that other courts in other states have sustained these laws, but he believes that the plaintiffs will give it their best shot. The common pleas court has yet to schedule a hearing in the case.

By Samantha Jones

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