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