Lawsuit filed against Ohio for restricting health care options for transgender youth

ACLU Sues Ohio to Block Ban on Transgender Youth’s Healthcare

The ACLU of Ohio filed a lawsuit against the state on Tuesday seeking to block House Bill 68 from becoming law. The statewide ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth is set to take effect in less than a month. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two 12-year-old transgender girls and their families, one from Hamilton County and one from Franklin County, who argue they would lose “critical, medically necessary health care” under HB 68.

The ACLU has been vocal in its opposition to the bill since it was first introduced, arguing that it is cruel and unconstitutional. In an interview with the media, ACLU Legal Director Freda Levenson said that the ban is not based on science and goes against the Ohio Constitution by breaking a single-subject rule for legislation and discriminating against trans minors.

In addition to prohibiting transition treatment, HB 68 also blocks transgender youth from participating in 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 as a reason for why HB 68 is unconstitutional. Major American medical associations back puberty blockers and other treatments for trans youth, which is why Levenson wants physicians to continue prescribing care for patients under the current status quo.

Rep. Gary Click (R-Vickery) was instrumental in HB 68’s passage and knew a lawsuit would materialize. In an interview with the media, he said that he knew there would be one from the very day he started working on the bill. Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed HB 68 late last year, but almost all GOP lawmakers voted during sessions of the Ohio House and Senate to override that veto in January. Click said other courts in other states have sustained these laws, but he believes that the plaintiffs will give it their best shot and may not stand much of a chance. The common pleas court has yet to schedule a hearing in the case.

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