'Jeopardy!' champ Amy Schneider says Ohio bill would be harmful to transgender youth

"Jeopardy!" champion Amy Schneider testified before the Ohio legislature on Wednesday in opposition to a proposed bill that would ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth in the state.

Schneider, the first openly transgender person to qualify for "Jeopardy!" Tournament of Champions," told lawmakers that she believes the bill would have "devastating consequences" for children in Ohio.

House Bill 454 would prohibit children under 18 from using puberty blockers and receiving gender reassignment surgery.

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If the bill is signed into law, doctors and medical staff could face professional punishment for providing gender-affirming treatment to minors in Ohio.

"Far from protecting children, this bill would put some of them in grave danger and in danger that not all of them would survive," the Dayton, Ohio, native told legislatures on Wednesday.

PHOTO: Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider, who opposes a bill before Ohio lawmakers that would curtail access to hormone therapy and other medical procedures for transgender minors, testifies at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 16, 2022 (Jay Laprete/AP)
PHOTO: Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider, who opposes a bill before Ohio lawmakers that would curtail access to hormone therapy and other medical procedures for transgender minors, testifies at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 16, 2022 (Jay Laprete/AP)

The legislation was sponsored by Republican state Rep. Gary Click and 23 co-sponsors. Click has taken to Twitter to advocate for passing the bill, claiming that puberty blockers aren't safe, and said that gender-affirming care causes irreversible damage.

The bill also bans the use of public funds for gender transition treatment, as well as bans public or private school staff from withholding from a child's parent or guardian if their kid is having gender-identity issues.

PHOTO: Amy Schneider appears on an episode of the game show Jeopardy! that aired Jan. 7, 2022. (Jeopardy Productions, Inc., FILE)
PHOTO: Amy Schneider appears on an episode of the game show Jeopardy! that aired Jan. 7, 2022. (Jeopardy Productions, Inc., FILE)

Schneider told legislatures at the hearing that despite the successes in her life -- winning almost $1.4 million on "Jeopardy!", getting married to her partner Genevieve Davis in May and traveling the country -- that if she didn't have access to hormone therapy, she isn't sure if she would continue to be alive.

"I hope that I would. I hope I'd find a way to do it, but I really believe that I might not survive," Schneider said, detailing her experience of being transgender and getting gender-affirming care.

Ohio isn't the only state proposing anti-transgender legislation. According to the Human Rights Campaign, states have introduced over 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills this year.

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During Transgender Awareness Week, the Texas legislature introduced anti-trans bills that would label gender-affirming care to children under 18 as "child abuse," would ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth under the age of 18 and would label any nightclub, bar or restaurant that hosts drag shows as a "sexually oriented business."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton called gender-transitioning or affirming procedures "child abuse" earlier this year and urged the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate instances of gender-affirming care among trans youths. That effort has been blocked in court.

ABC News' Kiara Alfonseca contributed to this report.

'Jeopardy!' champ Amy Schneider says Ohio bill would be harmful to transgender youth originally appeared on abcnews.go.com