PBS Back on Its Bogus ‘Gender-Affirming Care’ Bandwagon as Ohio Bans Become Law

Political News

The PBS News Hour Thursday evening circled back to its gender obsession (already documented in our study on PBS’s coverage of gender identity issues). Field reporter Stephanie Sy commiserated with an old favorite source, The 19th News, a gender-obsessed outlet named after the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed the vote to women but now dismisses their entire sex as “cisgender women.”

Host Amna Nawaz issued the dire warning.

Nawaz: Ohio is the latest state to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth and to limit trans athletes’ participation in school sports. A total of 23 states have passed trans health care bans, with 20 approved just in the past year. Stephanie Sy has more.

(Note: No transperson is being denied participation in sports or health care. Ohio has legislated that biological males have no inherent right to complete against females in school sports, no matter how they may personally identify that day.)

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Reporter Stephanie Sy explained how Ohio’s Republican Governor Mike DeWine had his veto defeated in the Ohio Senate, so the bill banning so-called “gender-affirming surgeries” and prescriptions for puberty blockers and hormone therapy could become law.

Orion Rummler, The 19th News: ….So, this law, which, important to remember, will not go into effect until late April, like you said, would prevent trans youth from accessing medications, such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy, as part of their gender-forming care. And there are also other restrictions at play in Ohio right now that Governor DeWine put into place whenever he vetoed this ban….

Sy introduced a clip from a TransOhio spokesperson: “Here’s what they said about the effect the law is already having on Ohio families.” The source hysterically claimed they were “essentially starting refugee enclaves in half-a-dozen states” for people leaving Ohio because of the horrible new regulations. Refugees?

Rummler warned even more states were joining in with so-called gender-affirming care bans. In PBS-land that is a clear negative.

Sy gave room for Ohio Republican Rep. Steve Huffman to say: “We’re not outlawing all trans in the state of Ohio. We’re just asking you to say, wait until you’re 18….”

Sy: So, the backers of the ban say they’re trying to keep children safe from medical experimentation. That’s what they call it, citing risks, for example, with puberty blockers. Orion, where does the evidence stand right now? What is best for these children, mentally and physically?

Rummler provided the politically correct response, denying there are any faults with how children are put on the path of hormone replacement and even irreversible genital surgery, the sad stories about detransitioning teens to the contrary.

Rummler: So, whenever a child is going through with gender-affirming care, it already involves elements such as a mental health screening. It already involves being told of what the consequences are, with the child and the parents involved in going through a process of, these are all the irreversible changes. These are the reversible changes. Here’s what you can expect down the line. So, all of that is already part of the process. And gender-affirming care has been approved by several major medical organizations, who say this care is safe. And it’s — the way that Republicans frame this care, it’s framed in a way that they’re just given this care without any context of what they can expect and what the side effects are. And that’s just not true. That’s always a part of the discussion when you’re receiving this kind of care.

Sy: You have covered other ways states are targeting transpeople in new proposed laws. What are you watching for in the year ahead?

The 19th journalist went over-the-top again, as if transpeople would be denied drivers licenses or bathroom access and threw in some offensive jargon.

Rummler: And these definitions, based on reproductive capacity, would also exclude cisgender women who have certain health conditions….

Otherwise known as “women.”

This segment was brought to you in part by Raymond James.

A transcript is available, click “Expand.”

PBS NewsHour

1/25/24

7:45:34 p.m. (ET)

Amna Nawaz: Ohio is the latest state to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth and to limit trans athletes’ participation in school sports.

A total of 23 states have passed trans health care bans, with 20 approved just in the past year.

Stephanie Sy has more.

Stephanie Sy: Amna, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine had blocked this bill late last month, saying parents and doctors should make decisions around gender-affirming care, not the state.

But, yesterday, the Ohio Senate overrode the governor’s veto. The new law bans gender-affirming surgeries, new prescriptions for puberty blockers and hormone therapy, and restricts mental health care for trans minors without a parent’s or guardian’s consent. Doctors who provide care in violation of the law can lose their medical license.

It also bans trans women and girls from playing on women’s sports teams in high schools and colleges. Orion Rummler covers all this for The 19th News and joins us now. Orion, what kind of impact will this law have on transgender youth and transgender athletes?

Orion Rummler, The 19th News: Thank you so much, Stephanie. So, this law, which, important to remember, will not go into effect until late April, like you said, would prevent trans youth from accessing medications, such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy, as part of their gender-forming care.

And there are also other restrictions at play in Ohio right now that Governor DeWine put into place whenever he vetoed this ban. He made a couple administrative proposals. And those restrictions that DeWine brought would affect adults, as well as minors.

Stephanie Sy: We spoke to someone from TransOhio earlier. Here’s what they said about the effect the law is already having on Ohio families.

Dara Adkison, Board Secretary, TransOhio: We’re in the process of essentially starting refugee enclaves in half-a-dozen states of people who used to want to be in Ohio. I mean, many of them still do.

These are people who have lived here their whole lives. They have extended family connections, businesses, jobs, everything that you would expect for people who live somewhere, and they’re in the process of deciding to uproot themselves or what they do.

Stephanie Sy: So, Orion, they’re saying people may just leave Ohio. But with nearly two dozen states enacting similar bans on gender-affirming care for minors, where do these families with transgender kids go?

Orion Rummler: That’s the question, is, as more states, like you said, ban this care, there aren’t many options for them to go, because it’s a — if you look at a map of which of the 22, now 23 states have put in place a gender-affirming care ban, it’s basically the entire South.

And then, in Ohio, we’re seeing more into the Midwest. So, families — not many families have the ability to just pick up and leave. And the ones I have spoken to in other states, when they are able to move and decide to do so, it’s usually like quite a distance, like cross-country, like, just as far as they can get.

Stephanie Sy: I want to play what a Republican senator who supported the Ohio bill said.

State Rep. Steve Huffman (R-OH): We’re not outlawing all trans in the state of Ohio. We’re just asking you to say, wait until you’re 18. Wait until you’re — you have the ability to make the decision with your unmature mind, to give that a break.

Stephanie Sy: So, the backers of the ban say they’re trying to keep children safe from medical experimentation. That’s what they call it, citing risks, for example, with puberty blockers.

Orion, where does the evidence stand right now? What is best for these children, mentally and physically?

Orion Rummler: So, whenever a child is going through with gender-affirming care, it already involves elements such as a mental health screening. It already involves being told of what the consequences are, with the child and the parents involved in going through a process of, these are all the irreversible changes.

These are the reversible changes. Here’s what you can expect down the line. So, all of that is already part of the process. And gender-affirming care has been approved by several major medical organizations, who say this care is safe. And it’s — the way that Republicans frame this care, it’s framed in a way that they’re just given this care without any context of what they can expect and what the side effects are.

And that’s just not true. That’s always a part of the discussion when you’re receiving this kind of care.

Stephanie Sy: You have covered other ways states are targeting trans people in new proposed laws. What are you watching for in the year ahead?

Orion Rummler: In the year ahead, I’m watching for more states to be focused on restrictions on trans adults beyond gender-affirming care. Right now, at least 10 states are trying to change how they define sex in their state law based on reproductive ability in ways that would prevent trans people from being able to access identity documents, which is their driver’s license, from being able to access public restrooms, even in Florida from holding office.

And these definitions, based on reproductive capacity, would also exclude cisgender women who have certain health conditions. And advocates are really concerned about these bills. So that’s one thing I’m watching in the next — in the new year.

Stephanie Sy: Orion Rummler with The 19th News, thank you.

Orion Rummler: Thank you so much, Stephanie.

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