A medical panel in Florida on Friday advanced a rule that would effectively ban gender-affirming care for minors.

The Florida Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine Joint Rules/Legislative Committee advanced a rule on Friday that would likely block transgender youth from accessing puberty blockers, hormone therapies, and surgeries. Doctors rarely prescribe surgery for transgender minors.

In June, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo asked the board to establish a standard for such therapies. Ladapo used a state agency's report to justify his request.

“The Agency ultimately concluded that 'Available medical literature provides insufficient evidence that sex reassignment through medical interventions is a safe and effective treatment for gender dysphoria,'” Ladapo wrote. “I encourage the Board to review the Agency's findings and the Department's guidance to establish a standard of care for these complex and irreversible procedures.”

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBTQ rights advocate, criticized the report on which Ladapo based his request.

“Gender-affirming care is lifesaving – that, unlike the material in this report, is a fact – and this medical care is neither experimental, nor new,” said HRC State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley in June. “It is supported by the overwhelming majority of medical associations, representing more than 1.3 million doctors in the United States. This controversy is entirely contrived for partisan political purposes, but will cause very real harm to the thousands of folks impacted.”

“This, in addition to the ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ law and the ‘Stop WOKE Act,’ prove that [Florida Governor] Ron DeSantis and his administration care only about using LGBTQ+ people in an attempt to rile up their base and tell people in Florida how to live their lives. This is wrong, this is destructive, and it is discrimination, plain and simple. The Human Rights Campaign will do everything in its power to oppose all of these actions,” Oakley said.

Florida state Representative Carlos Smith, a Democrat, called Friday's public hearing on the proposed rule a “sham.”

“Board of Medicine meeting was a sham,” Smith said in a tweet. “They put all the speakers from out of state and out of the country who agreed with them first. When they an out of people on their side, they cut off public comment from Floridians OPPOSED to the politicization of gender affirming care.”

The proposed policy rule now heads to the full boards of medicine and osteopathy for a final vote.