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

In a bold move to protect the rights of transgender youth in Ohio, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio and Goodwin, a global law firm, filed a lawsuit against the state on Tuesday. The suit seeks to block House Bill 68, which is set to become law in less than a month and would ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth.

The ACLU has been fighting against HB 68 since it was introduced earlier this year, arguing that it is cruel and unconstitutional. The ban goes against science and breaks a single-subject rule for legislation, among other claims. Two 12-year-old transgender girls from Hamilton and Franklin counties are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit and argue that they would lose critical, medically necessary health care under HB 68.

The ACLU argues that HB 68 discriminates against trans minors by prohibiting them from participating on 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 by the ACLU 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), who was instrumental in HB 68’s passage, knew a lawsuit would materialize 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

By Sophia Gonzalez

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