Florida moves forward with plans to prohibit gender-affirming treatments for anyone underage

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health has gone ahead with plans to outlaw gender-affirming treatments for anyone under the age of 18 in the state.

According to the law, doctors in the state of Florida are not allowed to do sex reassignment procedures or give drugs or treatments that stop puberty to patients younger than 18 years old.

Minors who were already receiving therapy prior to the decision may continue to do so.

“It was very clear that the rhetoric was hate-filled,” Nathan Bruemmer, LGBTQ consumer advocate for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “This right now, is not the end of the fight for equality.”

The rule also lists a research exemption for nonsurgical treatment of gender dysphoria in minors under the “auspices of Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved, investigator-initiated clinical trials conducted at any Florida medical schools set forth in Section 458.3145(1)(i), Florida Statutes.”

Before the decision was made, there was a lot of discussion between the people on the different boards.

The Florida Board of Medicine did not approve of keeping the piece, but the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine did. The participants remarked that they had never experienced something like this before.

At the conference that took place the week before last, there were hours of evidence given, including from individuals who voiced regret about receiving gender-affirming treatment.

“It truly was euphoric at first but my mental health did not improve,” Zoe Hawes said during public comments.

Those who are in favor of it claim that it might be beneficial to younger people, who are more likely to live to regret whatever mistakes they make owing to the irreparable damage.

On the other hand, those who are against the law have said that medical procedures are required in order to cure gender dysphoria and increase the wellbeing of kids. Opponents say that if the therapies aren’t given, transgender children and teens are more likely to have mental health problems, like having thoughts of killing themselves.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the feeling of discomfort or distress that might occur in people whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth or sex-related physical characteristics is referred to as “gender dysphoria.” This can happen to people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.

The judgment of the board runs counter to the government recommendations provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Also, the Cleveland Clinic, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), and the American Academy of Pediatrics all agree that gender-affirming treatment is helpful.

The decision was made after the Surgeon General, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, sent a letter saying that the recommendations for treating gender dysphoria from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services were not backed up by evidence.

Under the administration of the Florida Agency for Health Treatment Administration (AHCA), Medicaid coverage of gender-affirming care became restricted in the month of August of this past year. Since then, a case has been brought forward to question the authority of state health authorities.

Alfred Duncan

Alfred Duncan is a senior editor at The South Florida Daily, where he oversees our coverage of politics, misinformation, health and economics. Alfred is a former reporter and editor for BuzzFeed News, National Geographic and USA Today.

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