Riley Gaines puts heat on Republican Ohio governor to sign ban on transgender surgery for minors

Former college swimming star Riley Gaines called out the Republican governor of Ohio over a lack of action on a bill that would ban gender-reassignment treatment for minors. 

“Governor [Mike] DeWine of Ohio has had the SAFE Act (protects women’s sports & child mutilation) on his desk to sign into effect since the 15th,” the Independent Women’s Forum ambassador wrote Wednesday.

“He hasn’t signed it yet. He has 2 more days to sign before it becomes law without his signature. Why the hesitation, [Governor DeWine]?”

PROTESTERS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY AFTER VANDALIZING TABLE AT RILEY GAINES’ SPEECH AT PENN STATE

Former collegiate swimmer Riley Gaines has been pushing in support of a bill in Ohio that would ban transgender surgeries for minors and stop transgender women from participating in college sports. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act passed Ohio’s GOP-dominated state legislature this month. 

It would stop doctors from prescribing gender-altering treatment to or performing sex reassignment surgeries on minors. The bill also bans transgender women and girls from participating in female sports leagues. 

DeWine’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Gaines’ statement from Fox News Digital. 

PROFESSOR APPEARS TO TAKE SHOT AT RILEY GAINES IN MESSAGE TO STUDENTS BEFORE PENN STATE EVENT

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has until Friday to sign or veto the bill. (AP Photo/Matt Freed)

Speaking to local outlet WKYC after the bill passed, DeWine called the debate over transgender youth a “very contentious issue” and said, “Other states have dealt with this issue as well, but ultimately, my decision will be based on one thing – and that is what I think is in the best interest of the children that will be impacted by this law.”

According to Ohio state law, DeWine has until Friday to decide whether to sign or veto the bill, otherwise it automatically becomes law on its own.

TRANS INCLUSION IN WOMEN’S SPORTS BECOMES HOTTER TOPIC IN 2023

Laws or policies banning gender transition-related health care for minors have passed in 22 states as of November 2023, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Court injunctions are preventing that from going into effect in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and Indiana.

Lia Thomas on the podium

Gaines, right, gained national attention after competing against transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, left. (Mike Comer/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

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Gaines became a national-level activist on the issue after facing transgender UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas at the 2022 NCAA championships.

She also testified at the Ohio State House in November in favor of the SAFE Act.

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