Ohio HB 151 would ban transgender girls from women’s sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima, said the upper house will seek to pass its own bill banning transgender girls and women from competing in high school and women’s college sports. before the end of the year.


What do you need to know

  • Ohio House Republicans Pass Bill Banning Transgender Girls From Competing In Girls’ Teams In School Sports
  • Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima, said the upper house will seek to pass its own version of the bill later this year.
  • Ohio Senate candidate Dr. Patricia Goetz, child and adolescent psychiatrist, said the lasting psychological impact could be catastrophic for girls.
  • According to the Ohio High School Athletic Association, there is only one transgender athlete participating in its sanctions.

Last week, Republicans in the Ohio House inserted a last-second amendment on the subject into an unrelated bill and passed it before leaving for the summer vacation.

Democrats and members of the medical community are furious about what it could mean for children’s mental and physical health.

“This legislation passed by the House of Republicans is in effect the state-imposed sexual assault of student athletes,” said Representative Beth Liston, D-Dublin.

House Bill 151 forces athletes accused of being transgender to have their genitals inspected and verified by a doctor. Ohio House minority whip Jessica Miranda, D-Forest Park, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, said she would traumatize children.

“No child should ever be forced to experience the same fear, trauma and humiliation that survivors of sexual abuse often feel simply because they want to play a sport,” said Miranda.

Rep Shane Wilkin, R-Hillsboro, a co-sponsor of the bill, told Spectrum News 1 that it was never the intention of the bill to force any athlete whose gender is questioned to have their genitals checked by a doctor.

“That’s not the intent, nor do I think it will happen,” Wilkin said. “The other side claims that biological males playing female sports are not a problem in Ohio. If so, then what’s the deal with this bill? “

Dr. Anita Somani has been a specialist in obstetrics / gynecology and women’s health in Columbus for the past 30 years. During a press conference on Thursday, she showed what tools a doctor would use to examine a child in the manner required by the bill.

She said the exam is invasive and uncomfortable even for adult women who have a close and trusting relationship with their doctor.

“I can only imagine the trauma that a middle school or high school girl would experience, before being accused of not being a real girl, and then having to undergo an invasive and painful exam to prove to a stranger that her genitals meet theirs. expectations, ”said Dr. Somani.

Dr. Patricia Goetz, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and Ohio Senate candidate, said the lasting psychological impact could be catastrophic for girls.

“This would intensify a girl’s fear of her body and it would lead to a cascade of problems including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance use and self-harming behaviors,” said Dr. Goetz. “Not to mention that it would dissuade girls from wanting to play sports.”

According to the Ohio High School Athletic Association, there is only one transgender athlete participating in its sanctions.

Ohio House Majority Whip Don Jones, R-Freeport, has spent more than 20 years as a teacher and is a sponsor of the bill.

“The Save Women’s Sports Act is a matter of fairness,” Jones said in a statement. “Most parents would agree that girls should be able to compete in sports against other girls, not biological males.”

Huffman said the Senate will have hearings on the matter on its version of the bill on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 132, introduced in March 2021, has yet to receive a hearing.

Spectrum News 1 reached out to sponsor of the bill, Kristina Roegner, R-Hudson, for comment, but was directed to Huffman’s earlier statement.

“I certainly sympathize with what the bill is trying to do,” Huffman said. “I am also sympathetic to the people he could influence. But there is a fundamental problem of fairness, and that is something that should be addressed. “

House Bill 151 would also force transgender girls to compete in male or mixed events. If not, schools could be sued. It also ensures that schools cannot be sued for imposing the ban.

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