The Board of Medicine voted to accept a petition from the Florida Department of Health to create new rules changing the standard of care for gender dysphoria with the goal of banning any gender-affirming care for Floridians under the age of 18.
MIAMI, Fla., - Today, the Florida Board of Medicine voted to begin the rulemaking process with the goal of banning gender-affirming care for trans youth in Florida. Earlier this month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida submitted a letter to the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) in opposition to the rule change to 59G-1.050, regarding Medicaid policy. The new rulemaking for the Board of Medicine primarily targets transgender youth, and applies to all Floridians, not just those who receive Medicaid benefits.
The Florida Department of Health petitioned the Board of Medicine to exclude puberty blockers, “hormones and hormone antagonists,” surgeries, and “any other procedures that alter primary or secondary sexual characteristics” from Florida’s standards of medical care for gender dysphoria. If such a rule becomes official, that would ban gender-affirming care for everyone under the age of 18 in Florida.
Kara Gross, legislative director and senior policy counsel for the ACLU of Florida, responded with the following comment:
“We oppose the Board of Medicine’s decision to accept the politically-motivated petition from the Department of Health and begin the rulemaking process to change widely-accepted medical standards of care for minors experiencing gender dysphoria. This brazen discrimination against transgender youth is unsupported by Florida law and contrary to established standards of care, and it will bring Florida in direct conflict with all major medical associations across the United States.
“The proposed rule change will, in effect, forcibly detransition teenagers who have been receiving medically-necessary care. No one should be forced against their will to assume a gender they do not identify with, and that is exactly what this proposed rule would do. It will harm the mental and physical health of thousands of adolescents and prevent Florida doctors from providing life-saving and ethically-necessary medical care.
“Gender-affirming care is safe, effective, evidence-based, and literally lifesaving. Transgender Floridians deserve and have a right to healthcare in this country, and the the Board of Medicine’s attempt to undermine this right and deny healthcare to transgender people is cruel, inhumane, and unconstitutional.
“Across the country and in Florida, lawmakers have already enacted sweeping attacks on transgender people — particularly transgender youth. Earlier this year, the governor signed a bill into law that would erase LGBTQ+ issues, families, and youth from classroom discussions. Now, the State seeks to ban life-saving, critical, medically-necessary healthcare for all transgender people in Florida. This course of action is cruel and dangerous.
“Transgender people have the right to the same health care access afforded to their peers. No one should be prohibited from accessing the care they need.”