Florida continues to ban puberty blockers and sex-reassignment surgery 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 move forward with a plan to prevent anyone under 18 from undergoing gender reassignment surgery or using hormones. The vote came after an almost five-hour discussion, where experts and the public expressed their opinions.

“It’s a lifetime change for the kids,” Blaise Trettis said, according to Click On Orlando. “I don’t think they are emotionally or psychologically capable of making this lifelong decision.”

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

FLORIDA BANNS USE OF DRUGS IN GENDER AFFIRMATION TREATMENTS

A protester holds a trans flag and snaps in solidarity with other speakers during a demonstration at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, on June 25, 2021.

A protester holds a 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 the types of treatment that are available and provided.”

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

The boards agreed in August to begin a 120-day process to begin rulemaking for gender dysphoria treatment for children.

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The move comes after the Florida Department of Health issued guidance in April rejecting federal guidelines approving puberty blockers and “partially reversible” hormone therapy as methods of “affirming care” for minors. Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo criticized the federal leadership as a political move that lacks evidence to help young people.

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

“A federal government medical institution issuing guidelines that fail at the most basic level of academic rigor shows that this was never about health care,” Ladapo said in a statement. “This was about injecting a political ideology into the health of our children. Children who experience gender dysphoria should be supported by family and seek counselling, not forced to make an irreversible decision before they turn 18.”

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State guidelines added that “[s]systematic reviews of hormone treatment for young people show a trend towards low quality of evidence, small sample sizes and moderate to high risk of bias.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday rejected the CDC's recommendation that the COVID-19 vaccine be added to the agency's recommended plan for children.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday rejected the CDC’s recommendation that the COVID-19 vaccine be added to the agency’s recommended plan for children.
(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Under Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the state’s Health Care Agency decided this summer to bar health care providers from billing the state’s Medicaid program for treatments such as sex-reassignment surgery, puberty blockers or hormone therapy.

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

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“They won’t tell you what it is … They’re actually giving very young girls double mastectomies, they want to castrate these young boys,” DeSantis said in the summer. “Both from a health and well-being perspective, you don’t pollute 10, 12, 13-year-olds based on gender dysphoria, 80% of them will resolve themselves when they’re older anyway… So why would you do this?”

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