Ohio judge temporarily blocks ban on gender-affirming care for minors

An Ohio judge temporarily blocked a law Tuesday that would have banned gender-affirming care for minors, a week before it was set to take effect — the latest juncture in the state’s months-long battle over the issue.

Franklin County Judge Michael J. Holbrook’s restraining order lasts for two weeks or until a hearing to consider a longer-term order blocking the law, whichever is sooner. Families of transgender children can continue accessing gender-affirming medical treatments, like puberty blockers and hormone therapy, until then.

Ohio legislators banned gender-affirming care for minors in January after fierce debate in the statehouse, overriding Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s December veto of the bill and joining more than 20 states that have levied similar restrictions in recent years. Just this week, the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on the issue for the first time, allowing Idaho to enact a law that subjects medical providers to up to 10 years in prison if they provide gender-affirming care to minors.

Proponents of the Ohio law promised Tuesday to ensure gender-affirming care is banned for minors in the state. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost pledged in a statement Tuesday to “fight vigorously” and said he is “confident” that the statute will be upheld. State Rep. Gary Click (R), who introduced the bill to ban the care for minors last year, said he was “disappointed but not surprised by the decision” and added that he has his “eyes on the finish line rather than the mile markers.”

The judge’s decision offered a reprieve for families of transgender youths, many of whom have been scrambling to determine how to move forward with the law looming over them, opponents of the ban told The Washington Post.

“I am very cautiously optimistic,” said Cam Ogden, a spokeswoman with advocacy group Trans Allies of Ohio. “It’s an immense relief to know that the horrific consequences of this law have been put off just a bit longer, even if it is only temporary.”

The law, known as the Safe Act, prohibits hormone therapy, puberty blockers and gender-reassignment surgery for people under 18 — although a clause allows state residents already on those treatments to continue. The measure also prohibits transgender girls from playing on high school and college sports teams designated for girls and women.

National medical groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, have said gender-affirming care for trans children is medically necessary and appropriate.

The American Civil Liberties Union and others challenged the law in March, suing on behalf of two unnamed families “whose children are at risk of losing critical, medically necessary health care.” The lawsuit asked the court to issue a temporary restraining order and to ultimately declare the statute unconstitutional.

Families of transgender children have remained in limbo as the legislative battle, governor’s veto and lawsuit played out, but Tuesday’s move provided a shred of hope, according to Alicia Burkle, 42.

The Cleveland mom rushed to endocrinologists after the law passed in January to initiate gender-affirming care for her 10-year-old transgender daughter. The law’s grandfather clause ensures that Burkle’s daughter can keep receiving treatment if the statute takes effect, but the statute’s language still leaves uncertainty, she said: Will her daughter be able to adjust her care plan if necessary? What if the family needs to find a new doctor?

The court must permanently block the ban, she said.

“The law’s language is really unclear,” Burkle said. “It’s not a guarantee that things will continue swimmingly for her.”

Source link

Discover more from Today Headline

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Related Posts