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An Ohio bill calls for a pelvic exam if a student athlete's sex is questioned. Some doctors say they won't do it

Generic clinic exam room
Felicia DeRosa leads a group of protesters in chanting outside the Ohio Statehouse. They are opposed to HB 454 which would ban doctors from performing gender transition procedures for minors.

Ohio House Republicans passed a bill this month that would require student athletes to undergo a pelvic exam if someone questions their sex.

House Bill 151 was amended to include a ban on transgender girls playing on female sports teams. Included in the legislation was language that stated that if a participant’s sex was disputed, the participant must show a “signed physician’s statement indicating the participant’s sex.”

Melissa Wervey Arnold, CEO of the Ohio chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, says this is not standard practice. Several doctors have said they might refuse to perform such an examination.

Democrats in the House have blasted the legislation. Cincinnati Edition reached out Rep. Jena Powell, R-Arcanum, who added the language to HB 151. She was not available for an interview but released this statement:

“By passing the Save Women’s Sports Act as an amendment to HB 151 last week, the House sent a strong message that we will protect fairness in sports for women and girls in our state.

"By an overwhelming margin, Americans and Ohioans believe individuals should compete on sports teams according to their biological gender. Public polling aside, this is simply the right thing to do. Women and girls in Ohio should never lose championships, medals, scholarships, or education and training opportunities to biological men. Parents should have the peace of mind that their daughters will always face an equal playing field in our state.

"It is again up to the Senate to pass the Save Women’s Sports Act. It’s time for the Senate to do the right thing — to protect athletic opportunity for women and girls in the state of Ohio.”

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss HB 151 are Ohio State Rep. Beth Liston, representing House District 21; and Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics CEO Melissa Wervey Arnold.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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