A fourth hearing for HB 454 was held on Wednesday in the Families, Aging, and Human Services Committee of the Ohio House of Representatives.
HB 454 would prohibit healthcare professionals from providing gender-affirming care and require staff at Ohio schools to “out” students they assume are transgender to their parents or legal guardians.
This fourth hearing was the first opportunity for opponents of the bill to provide testimony. It was “invited” testimony featuring representatives from Ohio Children’s Hospital Association, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital & Center. The four witnesses individually testified and then answered representatives’ questions as a panel.
These medical care providers and hospital representatives testified for 2 1/2 hours on the realities of providing gender-affirming care, in an attempt combat the misinformation that had been previously presented by witnesses and Republican representatives on the committee. They also provided a fact sheet on Gender Dysphoria & Pediatric Gender Affirming Care in Ohio.
We present to you 12 quotes that summed up today’s hearing.
1. “From the beginning of this legislative process, we have been willing to meet with families who, according to the bill’s proponents, have had negative experiences at our hospitals so we can learn how to improve our care delivery system. No one has accepted this offer.” –Nick Lashutka, President & CEO of Ohio Children’s Hospital Association, kicking off the hearing. By his own admission, Rep. Gary Click (R-Vickery), the architect of HB 454, is one such individual who has not toured a gender-affirming clinic.
2. “Around a third of the individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria begin medical treatment under the age of 18. This is 0.0003% of the population of minors in Ohio.” -Lashutka, addressing the claims by proponents of HB 454 that medical treatment happens regularly.
3. “Allegations of experimentation, and abuse, and grooming are deeply offensive.” -Patricia Manning-Courtney, MD Chief of Staff, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, addressing comments made by past witnesses and Republican representatives on the committee.
4. “What role does hardcore pornography play in the treatment of a 13-year-old’s gender dysphoria?” -Rep. Click, who apparently went on a quest to find out how many clicks it would take to get from the THRIVE site until he found hardcore pornography. Rep. Click was admonished by Chair Manchester that the veracity of his allegations was difficult to ascertain.
5. “We do not refer minors for surgery. Nor do we perform those surgeries on minors.” -Manning-Courtney. She had to provide this same answer three times as Representative Marilyn John (R-Richland) kept repeating the same question. Later, Rep. John asked the question two more times, and received the same answer.
6. “I knew a 4-year-old who thought she was a rabbit.” –Rep. Tim Ginter (R-Paris Twp), trying to get the witnesses to say that they perform procedures on 4-year-olds. The witnesses reiterated that they do not perform procedures on 4-year-olds.
7. “We do not administer hormonal treatments until the onset of puberty.” -Manning-Courtney to Rep. Al Cutrona (R-Canfield) who was trying to say that they do.
8. “It is difficult for me to interpret and contextualize a family’s experience that they represent on social media with what I know happens in our clinic. -Manning-Courtney, after Rep. Click attempted to use unsubstantiated Facebook posts from an unidentified Facebook page as evidence.
9. “They’re in the process of closing their gender-affirming care clinic.” -Lashutka, answering a question about the lack of multi-disciplinary care now in Arkansas, where a version of HB 454 was signed into law.
10. “If I click on Donald Trump, I’m probably 2 or 3 clicks away from Stormy Daniels.” -Rep. Daniel Troy (D-Willowick), referencing Rep. Click’s devout journey to count clicks before linking to hardcore pornography. Troy’s comment elicited laughter throughout the gallery.
11. “To equate care that is evidence-based with ‘experimental’ is an oversimplification and a mischaracterization.” -Manning-Courtney in reply to Rep. Click’s continued efforts to malign gender-affirming care by using the word “experimental.”
12. “One of the unintended consequences of the passing of HB 454 is that all Medicaid funding would be stripped from Children’s Hospitals, and that is 54% of the patient base that we serve.” –Lashutka on the effects of HB 454 passing. 🔥
- If you are struggling, please remember you are not alone. Contact Trevor Project for 24 Hour Crisis Services.
- Trans Lifeline provides trans peer support for our community that’s been divested from police since day one. Their hotline is 1.877.565.8860.
- If you’re a young person struggling and/or looking for support and community, you can visit Kaleidoscope Youth Center.
- Equality Ohio has a whole linktr.ee with actions dedicated to speaking out regarding HB 454, including how to contact this committee hearing the testimony.