New ACLU lawsuit challenges Ohio’s minor gender-affirming care ban

Suit calls the ban unconstitutional, asks court to strike down H.B. 68

Credit: Avery Kreemer

Credit: Avery Kreemer

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio announced Tuesday that it formally filed a lawsuit challenging Ohio’s House Bill 68, a bill that bans minors from undergoing gender-affirming medical care such as puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and gender affirming surgery and bars transgender girls from participating in girls school sports.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, alleges that H.B. 68 violates the Ohio Constitution in four different areas, including a breach of an on-the-books but rarely-followed rule that each piece of legislation must only cover one single subject.

The ACLU, combined with two Ohio families using pseudonyms, has asked the court to issue a temporary restraining order to prevent the bill from going into effect and, in the long run, to declare the ban unconstitutional. The listed defendants are the Ohio Medical Board and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who is tasked with defending the state’s laws in court.

“The ban on gender-affirming care will cause severe harm to transgender youth,” said ACLU of Ohio Legal Director Freda Levinson in a press release. “These personal, private medical decisions should remain between families and doctors; they don’t belong to politicians. H.B. 68 violates the Ohio Constitution in multiple ways. We will fight in court to ensure that trans youth and their parents can access critically important, lifesaving healthcare without government intrusion.”

Yost has expressed little doubt that the law would eventually be challenged in the courts.

“We protect children with various restrictions that do not apply to adults — from signing legal contracts to buying alcohol and tobacco and more. As I promised during the veto override, my office will defend this constitutional statute,” he said when this news organization reached out to his office for comment.

With the passage of H.B. 68, Ohio became the 23rd state in the country to ban gender affirming care for minors.

It was passed by the Ohio General Assembly and subsequently vetoed by Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, who noted his belief that gender-affirming care did indeed save lives, and said that it’s a practice that needs more empirical data. Ultimately, he concluded that it is a case-by-case decision that should be left to the minor, their parents, and their medical team.

However, nearly all Republicans in the Ohio General Assembly disagreed with the governor’s decision and swiftly overrode his veto with a 3/5 super majority in both chambers. Both House and Senate Republicans said they believe gender-affirming care is a dangerous practice and cast doubts on whether or not minors can grant informed consent on such a critical decision.

Follow DDN statehouse reporter Avery Kreemer on X or reach out to him at or at 614-981-1422.

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