The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

Dual Column: Thoughts on Ohio House Bill 68 and Transgenderism

Each columnist takes a stance on Gov. Mike Dewine’s veto of the bill and their thoughts on how this will affect the state
Wikimedia Commons
The logos for the Democrat and Republican parties

NOTE: This column does not reflect the views of The Collegian

Governor Mike Dewine: The Cowardly RINO

By: Claire Houchin

On Dec. 29, Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed House Bill 68, the SAFE Act.  

The bill has three main parts. The first is that a court cannot use a parent’s decision to raise their child as their biological sex as a reason not to grant custody to that parent. The second is that medical professionals cannot provide gender-affirming treatments to minors, and the third part prohibits biological males from participating in women’s sports.  

The Republican-controlled Ohio House overturned the veto on Jan. 3, and the Senate overturned the veto on Jan. 24. 

Gov. DeWine explained that his reasoning for vetoing the bill was to protect child lives, but in doing so, he is denying parental rights and endangering young female athletes. 

The first provision speaks to an essential parental right. This idea is rooted in existing law.  

Many other laws prohibit discrimination based on someone’s beliefs. The First Amendment protects one’s right to do so.  

To deny custody from a parent for not wanting their child to transition because it goes against their beliefs would be the same as denying custody from a child because the parent was not religious.  

The court should not be allowed to deny custody of a child based on the political opinions or beliefs of the parent.  

A parent should be allowed to raise their child according to their beliefs without government interference. 

The second provision is included to prevent life-altering medical care from being done on a minor. It is not to say that gender-affirming treatments are never helpful to transgender individuals, but the decision to transition is consequential, and it should be made by someone who is fully aware of what that means for their body and their future.  

The idea that children should not be making decisions of this caliber is already a part of our society. Minors cannot buy cigarettes or alcohol. Minors cannot gamble. Minors cannot receive medical treatment without parental permission.  

The left believes that the brain of a minor is not fully developed when it comes to crimes they commit. Why is it that their brain is suddenly fully developed when it comes to changing their gender?  

Both cannot be true at the same time. Protecting children cannot only be relevant when it fits with the leftist agenda. Either a child’s brain is fully developed enough to make big decisions or it’s not. 

The final provision is designed to protect female athletes. Men on average are stronger than women. The law is designed to protect young girls from injury.  

According to a study done by BMC Sports Medicine, adolescent boys were 15.66% heavier, 6.9% taller, 30.8% stronger, and can jump 34.7% higher than girls of the same age. The study was conducted on high school athletes.  

Men competing in women’s sports puts girls at risk for injuries they would otherwise not be at risk for. Allowing men to play sports with women is putting women in danger and is throwing away all the progress women made with the passing of the Title IX fairness in sports act.  

As an example, in September 2022, Payton McNabb was injured in a volleyball game by a spike by a transgender athlete.  

Payton is struck in the head with the ball and falls to the ground as seen in a video on Youtube. Due to the injury, Payton will suffer from impaired vision, partial paralysis, and constant headaches, as well as difficulty remembering things for the rest of her life.  

In a CBS article, Payton said, “My ability to compete was taken from me. Having to play against biological males is not a level playing field and it is most definitely not safe.”  

Girls should not worry about injuries like these while playing sports. 

The bill Gov. DeWine vetoed is a commonsense bill that protects parental rights, minors’ physical integrity, and female athletes’ ability to safely compete.  

The left puts sentimentality and misguided ideology above these concerns.  

Gov. DeWine demonstrated with his veto that he feels the same way, or perhaps he was just afraid of backlash from the woke mob.  

Either way, it is good that the Ohio Legislature overrode the veto. Parents and children will benefit. 


Transgender Youths Lives are at Stake

By: Tommy Hegarty

A bill banning trans healthcare for Ohio youths is set to go into effect at the end of April. Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed this bill, but the state senate overrode it, passing the law.  

Trans healthcare, and especially trans healthcare for minors, has become an incredibly controversial issue in recent years.  

DeWine stated, “I think parents should make those decisions and not the government.”  

Regardless of the political lines that have formed around this issue, I hope we can all agree that medical literature and positive medical outcomes should take precedence over politics rather than politics superseding medicine and science.  

It is also important to acknowledge that banning trans healthcare for youths is not a neutral act. If any medical practice is banned, it will have an active impact on the group that engages with said medical practice.  

I will also focus exclusively on the science around the effectiveness of trans healthcare as it relates to positive life outcomes for trans youth.  

I will not be engaging with whether transgenderism is valid.  

Our medical, biological, and linguistic institutions are clear in their assertions that transgenderism is valid, and I will be treating it as a settled issue. 

The literature on trans healthcare is far more extensive and conclusive than some people might be led to believe.  

“Gender Dysphoria” is recognized in the DSM-5 as, “a marked difference between the individual’s expressed/experienced gender and the gender others would assign him or her, and it must continue for at least six months. In children, the desire to be of the other gender must be present and verbalized. This condition causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.”  

This diagnosis is required in nearly every instance for a transgender youth to receive affirming care according to the National Library of Medicine.  

With these established, the only remaining question is whether gender affirming care is effective. 

Cornell University did a meta-study of 72 separate studies on transgender care.  

The scholarly literature makes clear that gender transition is effective in treating gender dysphoria and can significantly improve the well-being of transgender individuals,” states the study. “Pooling data from numerous studies demonstrates a regret rate ranging from .3% to 3.8%.  

The study also stated, “Regrets are most likely to result from a lack of social support after transition or poor surgical outcomes using older techniques…Transgender individuals, particularly those who cannot access treatment for gender dysphoria or who encounter unsupportive social environments, are more likely than the general population to experience health challenges such as depression, anxiety, suicidality and minority stress”. 

The data on transgender healthcare is conclusive.  

The healthcare treats a legitimate condition, usually requires a diagnosis for youths, and has a regret rate lower than most other medical operations.  

That regret rate, small as it is, is primarily caused by bullying and an unscientific denial of the person’s gender identity.  

Additionally, hormone blockers, often a tentative first step in gender-affirming care, are reversible, despite the lies of pundits and politicians who would treat it as a permanent scar on a child.  

The only possible permanent effects are a person being slightly shorter and having a slightly lighter bone density as a result of delayed and faster puberty. This bill would not only stop the benefits that trans youth get from affirming care, but it would also harm them by raising their risks for mental health problems up to and including suicidality.  

Presenting the medical data is sufficient to prove my point, which is that Republican Senators in this state are imposing politics onto medicine and science. They are prepared to do measurable harm to Ohio’s youths in the name of protecting them, and all for their own political gain.  

I urge you to read the studies and statistics I reference and keep in mind what laws like this mean the next time you step into a voting booth. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All AU Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *