Florida Medical Boards Approve Ban On Transgender Treatments For Children

On Friday, Florida’s Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine both approved a ban on transgender medical treatments for children — a move that Gov. Ron DeSantis has long pushed for — Axios reported.

The medical boards’ decision would prohibit medical treatments including so-called “gender-affirming surgery,” puberty blockers, hormones, and cross-hormone therapy for anyone under the age of 18. The decision will now go through a weekslong approval process, which will include allowing for further public comment on the matter.

The ban “will not apply to transgender youth already receiving treatment,” according to reporting from Newsmax.

DeSantis, who is currently running for a second term as governor of the Sunshine State, has long been a critic of transgender medical treatments and surgeries for minors.

During a recent campaign event, the Florida governor condemned doctors who perform these procedures.

In a statement attacking the decision, Nicole Parker — the director of transgender equality at Equality Florida, an LGBTQ political advocacy organization — claimed that board members who approved the rule were putting “toxic politics over people’s health and wellbeing.”

“With young lives on the line, another state agency has placed the political ambitions of Ron DeSantis over its duty to protect Floridians,” she added.

In August, Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration — which runs the state Medicaid program — created a rule barring the medical assistance program from covering transgender medical treatments such as puberty blockers, hormone therapy and surgery.

A federal judge upheld the Medicaid ban in October, denying a request for a preliminary injunction from a coalition of transgender rights groups.

Florida is not the first state to make these moves.

Other states — including Alabama, Arkansas, Texas and Arizona — have passed or introduced legislation to prohibit transgender medical treatments for children, including puberty blockers, hormone therapy and gender transition surgery.

The Biden administration has decried what it claims are “discriminatory legislative attacks against LGBTQI+ children and families.”

President Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services openly supports so-called “gender-affirming care” for people of all ages, and several medical organizations — including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association — have come out in opposition to bans on transgender medical treatments.

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