Florida state medical boards approve ban on gender-affirming procedures for minors

Critics of the new ruling are demanding that ‘gender-affirming’ care should be available to all transgender youth

Florida state medical boards approve ban on gender-affirming procedures for minors
Minors in Florida will no longer have access to gender transition procedures (Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
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TALLAHASEEE, FLORIDA: A move that prohibits gender transition procedures for minors in Florida is being blasted by many proponents of human rights. The decision came amid Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladopo's appeal to ban gender reassignment procedures for those who are underage. It was officially reinstated after Friday’s, November 4, ruling by two Florida medical boards' approval.

The state’s Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine ruling will make sure no surgeries, puberty blockers, and hormone therapies are administered on children with gender dysphoria. It held an open public hearing on the subject matter last week and considered both sides who backed and opposed the ban. On one hand, people who are in for the ban claim that minors are not equipped to form their decision completely to opt for such procedures that can sometimes be irreversible, which includes mastectomies.

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And on the other hand, people who are criticizing the move demand what they refer to as "gender-affirming" care should be available to all transgender youth. Many who came forward during the board hearing shared their experience on how it has helped them to get the procedures done and were able to embrace their identity. Some also came out talking about how they regretted the decision to go for the surgery before they were 18 and changed their mind later about the transition, as per a report by the New York Post.

It is expected that the new rules will be further scrutinized with public commentary and likely to face legal challenges. Rachel Levine, HHS Assistant Secretary and a fellow transgender hit out at the move. “This is the first time I have seen a medical board weaponized against medical providers that are providing evidence-based, standard of care treatment,” Levine told STAT News, referring to the new rule as "unprecedented."

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has in the past cleared many laws related to transgender concerns, where he ordered a ban on discussion of gender identity in schools for kids in kindergarten until third grade. DeSantis has reasoned that the issue is "not age-appropriate" and that the doctors who go ahead performing such procedures should be dragged to courts, according to the report.

President Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services however maintains its complete support of access to gender transition procedures for underage individuals.

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