Columbus, Ohio – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s recent proposals have sparked concerns among transgender advocates, as they fear potential restrictions on gender-affirming care could leave thousands of adults without access to vital treatment. The new rules could affect independent clinics and general practitioners, making it difficult for transgender individuals to receive the care they need and potentially leading to health risks.
One such individual, 31-year-old Ashton Colby, worries about the possibility of losing access to the testosterone he has been taking since he was 19. The proposed regulations could mean that he has to find a new provider, causing delays in his treatment and potentially putting his health at risk.
Amid a flurry of activity, Governor DeWine announced these proposed rules and signed an executive order to ban gender-affirming surgery for minors. While the state legislature has been divided on this issue, many are concerned about the potential impact on the transgender community.
The proposed rules, released by the Ohio Department of Health and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, would not only require extensive counseling for individuals under 21 before they can start gender-affirming medication or surgery, but also restrict referrals to treatment elsewhere.
Transgender advocates and healthcare professionals have expressed their concerns, arguing that these regulations go beyond the standard of care established by relevant organizations. They fear that the new rules could create additional hurdles for lower-income, minority, and rural transgender individuals seeking care.
While Governor DeWine’s administration insists that the rules are intended to ensure safe treatment and prevent the operation of “fly-by-night” clinics, critics argue that the regulations are unnecessary and could effectively limit access to healthcare for transgender people.
Overall, the proposed rules have sparked controversy and concern, with many questioning the potential impact on the transgender community. As public comments on the proposed rules continue, the future of gender-affirming care in Ohio remains uncertain.