The Ohio House of Representatives has voted to override Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of legislation that aims to ban gender-affirming care for minors and restrict transgender females from participating in girls’ and women’s sports.

DeWine vetoed the bill on Dec. 29 and instead signed an executive order on Jan. 5 to ban gender-affirming surgery for anyone under 18 last week.

The Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act and Save Women’s Sports Act override passed on a 65-28 vote Wednesday.


The SAFE Act passed Ohio’s GOP-dominated state legislature earlier last month, but DeWine said he could not sign the bill “as it is currently written.”

“This bill would impact a very small number of Ohio’s children. But, for those children who face gender dysphoria and for their families, the consequences of this bill could not be more profound,” DeWine said during a press conference. 

However, the Senate is expected to vote on whether to overturn DeWine’s veto on Jan. 24. Ohio would become the 24th state to have restrictions on transgender athletes if the Senate overturns the veto.


DeWine received backlash from his own party for his decision. He said his opinion on the matter is one of “pro-life.”

“Ultimately, I believe this is about protecting human life. Many parents have told me that their child would not have survived, would be dead today, if they had not received the treatment they received from one of Ohio’s children’s hospitals,” he said. “I’ve also been told by those who are now grown adults that but for this care, they would have taken their life when they were teenagers.”

DeWine said he visited several children’s hospitals in the state and spoke with individuals on both sides of the debate before making his decision. He added that while ultimately vetoing the bill, there are concerns raised in the legislation that he agrees with that he hopes to address alongside the General Assembly.

Former NCAA Division I swimmer Riley Gaines criticized the decision in a statement to Fox News Digital.

“Gov. DeWine has proven himself to be a spineless coward who is unwilling to do the obviously right and moral thing. This veto doesn’t represent the majority of Ohioans, or the majority of Americans. I’m confident and hopeful the Ohio legislature will override his veto,” she said. “A compromise between right and wrong will always be wrong.”

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj, Liz Elkind, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.