Florida proceeds with ban on puberty blockers and sex reassignment surgeries for minors

Florida proceeds with ban on puberty blockers and sex reassignment surgeries for minors

A joint committee of Florida’s two medical boards voted last week to draft a rule that would ban puberty blockers and other gender dysphoria treatments for minors in the state. 

The Florida Board of Medicine and the state Board of Osteopathic Medicine voted Friday to proceed with a plan that will bar anyone under the age of 18 from receiving sex-reassignment surgery or taking hormones. The vote came after a nearly five-hour discussion, where experts and the public voiced their opinions. 

“It’s lifelong altering effects for children,” said Blaise Trettis, according to Click On Orlando. “I don’t think they’re emotionally or psychologically capable of making that lifelong decision.”

Others spoke out against the ban, including a transgender woman who said banning such treatments is “just plain wrong.”

FLORIDA BANS MEDICAID USE ON GENDER-AFFIRMING TREATMENTS

A protester holds the trans flag and snaps in solidarity with other speakers, during a demonstration at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, on June 25, 2021.
(Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

“People’s lives are at stake here,” Amy Rachel said. “Some are deliberately spreading misinformation about the transgender community and about the kinds of treatments that are available and given.”

The boards will meet on Nov. 4 for a final vote on the plan, Click on Orlando reported. 

The boards had agreed in August to begin a 120-day process to begin crafting rules around gender dysphoria treatments for children.

CALIFORNIA EX-TRANS TEEN BACKS FLORIDA BAN ON MEDICAID FUNDS FOR TRANSGENDER MEDICAL INTERVENTIONS

The move comes after the Florida Department of Health issued guidance in April rejecting the federal government’s guidance endorsing puberty blockers and “partially reversible” hormone therapy as methods of “affirming care” for minors. Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo slammed the federal guidance as a political move that lacks of evidence of assisting youths.  

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and Gov. Ron DeSantis at a news conference in West Palm Beach, Florida on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. (Joe Cavaretta/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and Gov. Ron DeSantis at a news conference in West Palm Beach, Florida on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. (Joe Cavaretta/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
((Joe Cavaretta/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

“The federal government’s medical establishment releasing guidance failing at the most basic level of academic rigor shows that this was never about health care,” Ladapo said in a statement. “It was about injecting political ideology into the health of our children. Children experiencing gender dysphoria should be supported by family and seek counseling, not pushed into an irreversible decision before they reach 18.”

FLORIDA MEDICAID SEES ‘SOARING INCREASE’ OF KIDS RECEIVING PUBERTY BLOCKERS, HORMONES, IRREVERSIBLE SURGERY

The state guidance added that “[s]ystematic reviews on hormonal treatment for young people show a trend of low-quality evidence, small sample sizes, and medium to high risk of bias.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday pushed back against a CDC recommendation that the COVID-19 vaccine be added to the agency's recommended childhood schedule.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday pushed back against a CDC recommendation that the COVID-19 vaccine be added to the agency’s recommended childhood schedule.
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Under Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration, the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration ruled over the summer to bar healthcare providers from billing the state’s Medicaid program for treatments such as sex reassignment surgery, puberty blockers or hormone therapies.

DeSantis said in August that doctors who “disfigure” young children “based on gender dysphoria” should face legal consequences. 

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“They don’t tell you what that is … They are actually giving very young girls double mastectomies, they want to castrate these young boys,” DeSantis said over the summer. “Both from the health and children wellbeing perspective, you don’t disfigure 10, 12, 13-year-old kids based on gender dysphoria, 80% of it resolves anyways by the time they get older… So why would you be doing this?”

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