Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed a bill aimed at protecting minors from invasive gender-affirming procedures as preserving the integrity of female sports.

House Bill 68 would have stopped the prescription of hormones or puberty blockers or the conducting of gender reassignment surgery on minors. It would have also stopped transgender girls and women from participating in female sports categories in high school and college.

In a press conference on Friday, DeWine claimed his decision was in order to protect children.

“Ultimately, I believe this is about protecting human life,” he stated. “Many parents have told me that their child would be dead today if they had not received the treatment they received from an Ohio children’s hospital. I have 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.”

“Ultimately, these tough, tough decisions should not be made by the government. They should not be made by the state of Ohio. They should be made by the people who love these kids the most, and that’s the parents. The parents who have raised that child, the parents who have seen that child go through agony, the parents who worry about that child every single day of their life,” he added.

The veto, however, did not go down well with many, as state Republicans criticized DeWine and promised to consider a veto override.

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) also slammed the rationale behind DeWine’s decision, calling it “a justification.”

He took to X to write, “This is a slogan, not a justification. There are many things the law rightfully says no one, including parents, may do to children. This slogan also ignores the extraordinary pressure from interest groups and big pharma to green light poorly understood, irreversible procedures. I’m extremely disappointed in the governor’s decision and hope it is overridden.”

GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy also weighed in on the veto. Starting by emphasizing the existence of two genders, he tweeted, “Boys shouldn’t compete with girls in girls’ sports. Kids shouldn’t be subjected to genital mutilation & chemical castration when they suffer mental health lapses. Shame on Ohio Governor Mike DeWine for this failure.”