Florida to ban transgender health care treatments for minors

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Transgender youngsters in Florida will probably be barred from receiving hormones or present process surgical procedures to deal with gender dysphoria underneath a rule permitted Friday by state medical officers on the urging of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Florida Board of Medicine and the state Board of Osteopathic Medicine voted at a joint meeting in Lake Buena Vista to finalize guidelines governing gender affirming health care for minors. The rule is ready to take impact after a weekslong public enter interval.

The ban comes as DeSantis and Republicans in different states transfer to restrict entry to the treatments for minors, usually characterizing them as medically unproven and doubtlessly harmful in the long run, as one other political battle towards liberal ideologies.

Many medical doctors, psychological health specialists and medical teams have argued that treatments for transgender youth are secure and useful, although rigorous long-term analysis is missing. Federal health officers have described the gender-affirming care as essential to the health and well-being of transgender youngsters and adolescents.

DeSantis has made criticizing such treatments for minors a routine a part of his reelection marketing campaign, usually referring to the procedures in graphic phrases throughout rallies and speeches. The new coverage, finalized days earlier than the election, marks one other instance of DeSantis’ capability to leverage the ability of presidency to accomplish controversial political targets, bolstering his nationwide repute as a combative GOP tradition warrior.

The rule prohibits medical doctors from prescribing puberty-blocking, hormone and hormone antagonist therapies to deal with gender dysphoria in minors. It bans intercourse reassignment surgical procedures or different surgical procedures that alter main or secondary sexual traits in minors.

“Today’s vote from the Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine will protect our children from irreversible surgeries and highly experimental treatments. I appreciate the integrity of the Boards for ruling in the best interest of children in Florida despite facing tremendous pressure to permit these unproven and risky treatments. Children deserve to learn how to navigate this world without harmful pressure, and Florida will continue to fight for kids to be kids,” Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo said in a statement.

Florida health officials banned state Medicaid insurance coverage for gender dysphoria treatments this year and issued a report that said the treatments have not been proven safe or effective. After the report’s publication, Ladapo, a DeSantis appointee, called for the adoption of new rules around the treatments.

Florida has also clashed with federal health officials who advocate for providing the treatments for young people.

Gender-affirming health care for youths has been a target for Republicans in recent years. Last year, the American Medical Association issued a letter urging governors to block any legislation prohibiting the treatment, calling such action “a dangerous intrusion into the practice of medicine.”

Arkansas was the first state to enact such a ban on gender affirming care, with Republican lawmakers in 2021 overriding GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto of the legislation. Alabama Republicans this year approved legislation to outlaw gender-affirming medications for transgender youths. Both laws have been paused amid unfolding legal battles.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, signed a bill last month that bars federal funds earmarked for the University of Oklahoma Medical Center from being used for gender reassignment treatments for minors. Stitt also called for the Legislature to ban some of those gender reassignment treatments statewide when it returns in February.

Top Tennessee Republicans also have vowed to push for strict anti-transgender policies. The state already bans doctors from providing gender-confirming hormone treatment to prepubescent minors. To date, no one has legally challenged the law as medical experts maintain no doctor in Tennessee does so.

In Florida, DeSantis signed a regulation final year barring transgender women and girls from enjoying on public college groups supposed for scholar athletes recognized as ladies at delivery.

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