(The Daily Signal) – On Friday, Ohio’s Republican governor, Mike DeWine, issued an “emergency” executive order to ban sex-reassignment surgeries for minors just one week after he vetoed a bill that would have banned those same surgeries and addressed related issues.
The General Assembly is expected to begin the process of overriding his veto Wednesday.
Why did DeWine sign the order so quickly after vetoing the bill?
The governor did admit in his veto message that he agreed with outlawing sex-reassignment surgeries for minors, as the bill would, but he said he disagreed with other provisions, and he insisted that executive orders and regulations would be more likely to survive legal challenges. He directed his administration to draft regulations.
Even so, it seems remarkable that he signed the executive order just a week later, declaring in the order that “an emergency exists requiring the immediate adoption of” regulations banning sex-reassignment surgeries for minors.
Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, chairman of the medical reform group Do No Harm, offered an explanation.
“We helped publicize a video conference that was held at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, which revealed the fact that the physicians there were contemplating ways that they could hide from parents the fact that their children were undergoing transitions, and they did acknowledge the fact that they did perform surgery on a minor, at least one,” Goldfarb tells “The Daily Signal Podcast.”
“We publicized this. We put it out in the popular press, and I think that was one of the factors that led the governor to realize that he had a problem on his hands,” he adds. “I think his response … reflected the fact that suddenly the public was being made aware of the fact that these surgeries were going on in these children, and that this was done in a way that was [in secret] as far as the parents were concerned.”
When asked about the surgery in question, Goldfarb identifies it as “top surgery”; that is, a double mastectomy. He also describes problems with the surgery.
“When they do that, they really don’t take out all the breast tissue, so these children that have had their breasts removed, but not 100% removed, have a lifelong risk of breast cancer that’s going to be a terrible problem for them to be monitored because they don’t have adequate breast tissue to do a clear comparison between normal and abnormal breast tissue,” he explains.
“Not only are they creating this mutilation, really, but they’re also creating another health problem associated with transgenderism,” Goldfarb concludes.
As Brent Scher reported for The Daily Wire, the Cincinnati hospital’s Transgender Health Center revealed a strategy to hide minors’ gender transitions from parents who might not support them.
Dr. Lee Ann Conard, the center’s director, lays out ways to progress a child toward “gender affirmation” without parental support. She suggests finding a therapist for a child without telling parents, and even putting young girls on “menstrual suppression” to stop their periods.
“We see kids 3, 4, all the way up to the 25th birthday,” Conard says in the video. “We can refer a child for therapy without telling parents.”
She also acknowledged, “We have a large number of patients who have dual diagnoses of eating disorders, autism spectrum disorder.”
That video appears not to mention mastectomies, but Do No Harm also drew attention to another video in which Conard references a “tray of options” that she would refer for patients.
“If someone only has dysphoria around breast tissue, we can get you to a breast surgeon,” Conard says in the video.
Do No Harm condemned DeWine’s veto in a statement for The Daily Wire.
“Governor DeWine made a terrible mistake when he rejected commonsense legislation to protect children from irreversible cross-sex treatments,” Kristina Rasmussen, Do No Harm’s executive director, told The Daily Wire. “Hospitals are benefiting financially from convincing kids they are born in the wrong body, and that needs to come to an end.”
DeWine vetoed House Bill 68, the Enact Ohio Saving Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act. The bill would bar physicians from performing gender-reassignment surgery on a minor and from prescribing cross-sex hormones or drugs to block puberty for the purpose of gender transition. It also would enable students to sue if they are deprived of a fair playing field in sports due to gender activism and protect parents’ rights to raise their children according to their biological sex.
DeWine’s office did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment on this story by publication time.