(Daily Caller)—Republican Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio received thousands of dollars in donations from donors who provided transgender medical services or opposed efforts to ban the procedures for minors.
DeWine vetoed House Bill 68 on Friday, which would have prohibited doctors from prescribing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for minors and banned boys from competing in girls’ sports, just hours before the deadline. A review of donations from 2018 to 2023 found that the governor received $40,300 from the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association (OCHA), Cincinnati Children’s, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and ProMedica Children’s Hospital, all of whom support transgender medical care.
OCHA donated $10,000 to the Mike DeWine and Jon Husted Transition Fund on Dec. 28, 2018, and another $10,000 on Dec. 7, 2022, according to the report. A transition fund allows candidates to spend donations for “transition activities and inaugural celebrations,” according to Ohio’s campaign finance handbook.
Cincinnati Children’s, an affiliate of OCHA, donated $300 on Dec. 15, 2022, to the fund and ProMedica, another affiliate of OCHA, also donated $10,000 in December 2018, according to the reports. Nationwide Children’s, a third affiliate with OCHA, donated $5,000 in December 2018 and another $5,000 in January 2023 to the transition fund.
The governor’s office referred the Daily Caller News Foundation back to DeWine’s comments on the bill and his veto. DeWine said last week that he was visiting hospitals that provide transgender procedures to hear families out on both sides of the issue but did not elaborate on which hospitals he went to.
Nick Lashutka, president of the OHCA, testified against House Bill 68, arguing that the bill “strips away” the rights of parents and their transgender children, according to The Guardian.
ProMedica, a member of The Ohio Children's Hospital Association and the largest hospital chain in Ohio also gave DeWine $10,000.
ProMedica seems to offer gender affirming care. pic.twitter.com/eVWWdhJdES
— Parker Thayer (@ParkerThayer) December 29, 2023
“These youth existed before we established our gender clinics, and they will exist if our clinics are forced to close,” Lashutka said.
A spokesperson for OCHA reiterated to the DCNF that DeWine visited with “clinicians and patient families of Ohio’s children’s hospitals.” The spokesperson also included a statement from Lashutka on the governor’s veto.
“We are thankful for Governor DeWine’s thoughtful approach in thoroughly researching the issue of gender-affirming care and vetoing Sub HB 68 today,” Lashutka said. “We welcome the opportunity to work with the Governor, the Ohio General Assembly and relevant state agencies to ensure Ohio’s youth have access to the critical care they need while also addressing concerns raised during debate on HB 68.”
Cincinnati Children’s has a Transgender Health Center that works with patients from five to 24 years old, according to the hospital’s website. The center’s frequently asked questions section explains that patients can get puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones with family consent and does not list an age limit.
Dr. Patty Manning-Courtney, the hospital’s chief of staff, also testified against House Bill 68, claiming that the impact of the bill would be “felt deeply and dangerously.”
Nationwide Children’s THRIVE Gender Development Program lists “management of gender-affirming medications, inclusive sexual and reproductive health care, menstrual management and other affirming interventions” as well as “fertility preservation options, puberty blockers or gender-affirming medicines” as services they provide, according to its website. The hospital does not note the age a patient must be to receive care from the program.
In 2021, ProMedica created an LGBTQ+ Patient and Family Advisory Council to educate healthcare providers on how to be more inclusive of the LGBTQ community, according to the Buckeye Flame, a local media outlet. The hospital said that the council was part of a larger goal to better include transgender patients and help refer them to medical facilities that can provide them with any care that ProMedica cannot.
A ProMedica spokesperson told the DCNF that the donations took place under “different leadership in place at the time.”
Cincinnati Children’s and Nationwide Children’s did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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Article originally titled, “GOP Gov Who Vetoed Trans Bills Received Over $40,000 From Children’s Hospitals Supporting Sex Change Procedures.”