Florida proceeds with sex reassignment surgery and puberty blocker ban for minors

Puberty Blockers and Sex Reassignment Surgery – Person with Transgender Flag Painted On It – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by nito

Last week, a joint committee of the Sunshine State’s two medical boards voted last week to draft a rule that would ban gender dysphoria treatments and puberty blockers for minors across the state.

The Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine and the state Board of Medicine voted Friday to carry on a plan to prevent anyone under 18 from taking hormones or receiving sex-reassignment surgery. The vote came after a five-hour-long discussion where public attendees and experts voiced their concerns.

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

Other attendees spoke out against the ban, including a transgender woman who claimed banning these treatments is “just plain wrong.

“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.”

Click Orlando reported the boards will meet on November 4 to place a final vote on the plan.

In August, the boards had agreed to start a 120-day process to begin creating rules around gender dysmorphia treatments for kids.

This action follows the Florida Department of Health’s rejection of federal recommendations in April that supported puberty inhibitors and “partially reversible” hormone therapy as means of affirming care for children. The federal guidance was criticized by Florida’s Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo as a political ploy with no proof that it helps young people.

“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.”

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.”

Under Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ administration, Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration decided to bar healthcare providers from billing the state’s Medicaid program for sex reassignment surgery, hormone therapy, puberty blockers, or other treatments over the summer.

In August, DeSantis said that healthcare providers who “disfigure young children based on gender dysphoria” should face legal consequences for providing such treatments.

“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 percent of it resolves anyways by the time they get older… So why would you be doing this?”

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