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Florida health officials restrict gender-affirming medical care for youth

Florida Transgender Roundtable
Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health, Admiral Rachel Levine, center, speaks after having attended a roundtable on gender-affirming care and transgender health, along with Tatiana Williams, left, CEO, founder and Executive Director of Transinclusive Group, and Arianna Inurritegui-Lint, right, CEO and founder of Arianna’s Center, Wednesday, June 29, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

(FLORIDA) — (UPDATE) — Florida is now placing limits on care for the treatment of gender dysphoria for young children who feel their biological sex and their gender identity don’t match. Two Florida medical boards on Friday gave final approval to rules that restrict children from receiving gender-affirming care to treat gender dysphoria under the age of 18.
Right now the state as not banned puberty blockers and surgery for minors.

The Florida boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine each approved separate rulemaking focusing on barring some treatments for minors as a treatment for gender dysphoria. They instead placed a much heavier emphasis on treating children with behavioral therapy. Board of Medicine member Patrick Hunter said during Friday’s meeting that he was convinced to approve the bans after hearing previous testimony from individuals who suffered health complications that led them to stop undergoing transgender treatments.

“We have a serious problem,” Hunter said. “And what we heard from people de-transitioning last week was evidence of that.”
Arguments for allowing children under 18 to make this life-altering decision include: “Trans youth are much more likely to experience mental health conditions, suicidal ideations and that affect them in many ways going into adulthood. When facing discrimination or just not being able to fully present or fully express themselves as they are.”

Democrat Charlie Crist has vowed to fire the state’s surgeon general if elected as governor in the midterm election in less than a week.

Crist, a former Republican governor, Attorney General, Education Commissioner as well as a Democratic congressman, got involved after the Florida Board of Medicine moved forward with a draft proposal to ban the care and treatments for children and adolescents. Crist will face of with GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis in the governor’s race next week.

The Florida Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine Joint Board Meeting is set to meet today in Orlando to vote on the proposal entitled “Practice Standards for the Treatment of Gender Dysphoria,” according to the board’s agenda.

“First it was an abortion ban, and now DeSantis is attacking parental rights and trans healthcare,” said Florida National Organization for Women Board Member Kat Duesterhaus.

“The entire process with the Board of Medicine has been rigged from the start. The speakers prioritized at these proceedings weren’t even Florida residents, while dozens of trans Floridians and parents of trans youth who are from Florida and support gender-affirming care were denied the chance to speak. This ban will leave blood on their hands.”