On Friday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed an executive order banning genital mutilation surgeries for minors and announcing upcoming rules to put some regulatory guardrails on the gender ideology empire. He’s failing Ohioans. Why? These measures are directly aimed at preventing the Ohio legislature from overriding his veto of H.B. 68, an incredibly popular and sensible bill that would protect minors from life-altering chemical and physical mutation and protect women who wish to play sports against women. 

In a country that doesn’t agree on much, we do have consensus on a few simple issues. Kids should not be carved up or drugged into sterility and adolescent boys should not play girls’ sports. These are 70/30 propositions, a unicorn in polling. (In other words, more people think President Biden is doing a good job at the border than think kids should have their genitals scooped out.)

So why is Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) protecting his veto? 

We have a hint from the Kansas Governor’s veto message on a similar topic recently: “Companies have made it clear that they are not interested in doing business with states that discriminate against workers and their families.” Oh. This was never about kids, but about woke corporations and their money.

After all, Abbott Laboratories, the initial manufacturer of Lupron (the “puberty blocker” drug) has a headquarters exactly where you’d imagine: Columbus, Ohio, with plans to spend more than half a billion dollars on a new plant in Bowling Green. Ohio’s massive hospital industry collects $424 million in state income taxes from its employees. In fact, health and healthcare-related companies constitute 9 of Ohio’s 10 largest employers headquartered in Ohio. Not to mention all the West Coast corporations investing money in Ohio, like Intel ($20B investment), Amazon Web Services ($8B), and Microsoft ($57M) who must fulfill their DEI goals, which are far more sacred than a young girl getting to compete in sports. 

Moreover, DeWine seems to not understand what’s at stake.

DeWine reasoned that parents believe their children need chemical castration to live (as if these parents aren’t also victims of a dangerous and coordinated effort). That’s insane on many levels. 

For one, treating a child—who comes to a doctor with suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety, loneliness, and a lack of love or acceptance—with chemical puberty blockers belies common sense, science, and endless personal experiences. When I testified in the Ohio Senate, right before me was Richard Anumene, an extraordinarily brave detransitioner who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of his parents and brother as a child. He, not surprisingly, grew to hate his body and suffered from major depressive disorder, suicidal ideation, bipolar manic episodes, and PTSD. He was given a medical transition to womanhood, which is impossible. Women cannot be created by a doctor. Not only that, but Richard correctly realized he was not a woman. Today, Richard suffers ongoing complications, even more depression, and will never be able to father a child. After all, individuals who identify as transgender have an 8 times increased suicide risk, which means pushing transgender ideology is extremely dangerous. (All this is a boon to hospitals and drug companies.) 

Second, the idea that “parents know best,” while true in many situations, has never applied to a parent’s decision to shove harmful, life-altering drugs down their own or their child’s gullet. “A parent’s right to make decisions for a child does not sweep more broadly than an adult’s right to make decisions for herself,” as the Sixth Circuit recently ruled in upholding bills similar to HB 68. That court explained that the idea of parental rights in the medical sphere applies to parents rejecting compelled care, rather than a parent’s right to demand banned drugs. DeWine has invented an idea of parental self-rule not supported by our nation’s history or laws. 

Finally, DeWine said he hadn’t considered the women’s sports aspect of the bill. Perhaps DeWine isn’t aware that #trans has received more than 66.5 billion views on TikTok. This is not some minor trend. Today, in high schools across America, male-bodied athletes are seeking access to women’s teams and locker rooms. How many times does a sexual assault victim need to change with a fully intact male for DeWine to care? How many women need to be injured? How many need to lose scholarships, a roster spot, or their confidence? 

Ohio’s legislators must not fall for the weak alternative and override Governor DeWine’s veto. The hospital lobbyists won’t make it easy. But if our leaders care about why they’ve been elected—improving the well-being of Ohioans—this override vote should take place tomorrow.