On Wednesday, the Ohio House of Representatives voted 65-27 to override Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s veto of the state’s Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act. It’s now up to the Ohio Senate to override the veto as well.

Ohio’s H.B. 68 is similar to two laws Arkansas passed in 2021.

The bill prohibits doctors in Ohio from giving a child puberty blockers or performing a sex-change surgery on a child.

It also prevents biological males from competing against women in women’s athletics at public schools as well as colleges and universities.

In 2021, lawmakers in Arkansas overwhelmingly passed the Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act and the Save Women’s Sports Act.

The SAFE Act is a good law that prevents doctors in Arkansas from performing sex-change surgeries on children or giving them puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. 

Unfortunately, the SAFE Act has been tied up in court for more than two years, and a federal judge in Little Rock has blocked the state from enforcing the law. Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin’s office is appealing the case.

Sex-change surgeries and procedures can leave children sterilized and scarred for life.

Researchers do not know the long term effects puberty-blockers and cross-sex hormones can have on kids. That is why many experts agree that subjecting children to sex-change procedures is experimental, at best.

Not long after Arkansas passed the SAFE Act, a major hospital in Sweden announced that it would no longer give puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to kids, and last year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration added a warning label to puberty blockers in America after biological girls developed swelling in the brain.

In 2021 Arkansas also passed Act 461 of 2021 protecting fairness in women’s sports at school by preventing male student athletes from competing against girls in women’s athletics.

This good law is in effect in Arkansas.

Over the past few years we have seen biological males dominate women’s athletics and compete for women’s athletic scholarships in some parts of the country.

For example, in 2019 Rachel McKinnon — a biological male who claims to be female — won the female Cycling World Championship. More recently, biological male Lia Thomas shattered women’s swimming records and was even nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year.

Letting men compete in women’s sports reverses 50 years of advancements for women and effectively erases women’s athletics.

It hampers girls’ abilities to compete for athletic scholarships, and it hurts their professional opportunities as adults. In some sports, it can even be dangerous.

As we have noted repeatedly, public opinion is shifting on this issue, with more Americans saying that it’s morally wrong to change genders and that athletes ought to compete according to their biological sex rather than their gender identity.

It’s good to see states like Ohio taking steps to protect children and preserve fairness in women’s sports.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.