Columbus, OH – This morning, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Ohio submitted a public comment to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (ODMHAS) on the draft rules related to gender affirming medical care for transgender people in Ohio. The ACLU and the ACLU of Ohio urge the state agencies to rescind the proposed rules, which represent the single most extreme set of regulations governing medical treatment for transgender adults anywhere in the United States and are wholly out of step with contemporary medical guidelines. 

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Ohio offered the following statement:

“If allowed to go into effect as written, the rules impose constraints on care for all transgender people - minors and adults alike - with no grounding in existing medical science. These onerous requirements on providers will have disastrous consequences on transgender Ohioans, impacting their health, well-being, and survival. The draft regulations are more extreme than any other laws in the country with respect to transgender healthcare for adults. This is a dangerous attempt to control Ohioans’ bodies, lives, and futures.  Voters overwhelmingly support an individual’s right to bodily autonomy and believe that families, parents, and doctors should be able to make private medical decisions free from political interference from government actors. We urge ODH and ODMHAS to fully rescind these proposed rules to protect the health and well-being of all Ohioans. Transgender people of all ages call Ohio home and deserve to live here and thrive here without discrimination.”

The restrictions were announced by Governor DeWine on January 5, one week after he vetoed related legislation, HB 68.  Given the legislature’s imminent action overriding the Governor’s veto of HB 68, which will ban care for people under age 18, the primary practical effect of the proposed rules is to constrain health care options for transgender adults in Ohio. 

Gender-affirming medical care as treatment for gender dysphoria is broadly supported across the entire medical mainstream, including by the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association. 

Read the comment in full.