ORLANDO, FL The Florida State Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine published proposed rules on Monday that would eliminate access to gender-affirming healthcare for adolescents not currently receiving this healthcare. The Board of Osteopathic Medicine’s rule would also permit care for those enrolled in specific clinical trials. The Boards advanced the proposed rules despite the overwhelming evidence that demonstrates the positive mental health impacts of gender-affirming medical care for trans youth. The nation’s leading health organizations support gender-affirming care for transgender and gender non-conforming people. If these new proposed rules ultimately enter into effect, Floridians who are not currently receiving care for gender-affirming care would not be able to access this healthcare. 

The publication of these proposed rules on Monday started a 21-day public comment period, followed by a final public hearing. The proposed rules will not go into effect until the administrative process is complete. The public comment period will close on Monday, December 5, 2022, which will be followed by the final public hearing on or around that date. 

Daniel Tilley, legal director of the ACLU of Florida, responded with the following:

“These are grim days in Florida. The decision by these boards of medicine to advance these proposed rules continues to politicize medicine by intruding on healthcare decisions made by qualified medical providers in consultation with patients and their families. The impact this will have on trans youth and their families is incalculable. 

“Studies show how critical gender-affirming care is for transgender youth, and we know that prohibiting gender-affirming care for transgender adolescents is life-threatening. Care providers, doctors, and leading medical associations have been clear that gender-affirming care is safe, effective, and evidence-based, and that it’s literally lifesaving.

“Everyone deserves equitable access to healthcare. We urge Floridians to participate in the public comment period to ensure their voices are heard to protect healthcare for all trans youth in our state. We will not stop fighting to ensure transgender youth in Florida receive the healthcare they need to live fulfilling, safe, and healthy lives.”