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Tipsheet

Florida Medical Boards Tighten Ban on Transgender Care for Children

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Minors in Florida who believe they are transgender and are seeking irreversible “gender-affirming” care will no longer be able to access this kind of treatment, even in clinical trials. 

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At a joint meeting between the Florida Board of Medicine and the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine, the two groups decided against doing away with a rule against transgender care for children. And, the boards abolished an exception that would have allowed children to participate in studies conducted by universities to receive non-surgical treatment, according to Jacksonville-based outlet Action News Jax.

In October, Townhall covered how the Florida Board of Medicine voted to draft a rule that would prohibit all minors in the state from receiving transgender care, which includes hormone therapy, puberty blockers and sex reassignment surgery. In November, a joint committee of the two boards voted to finalize a rule banning the procedures with the exception for clinical trials.

The elimination of the exception came at the request of GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, ABC News reported. 

Youth who are already being prescribed hormone therapy medications will not be impacted by the rule when it takes effect, the Tampa Bay Times noted. Florida doctors who treat new patients could lose their licenses.

Democrat State Rep. Anna Eskamani called the decision “politically motivated,” and members of the Florida Board of Medicine pushed back. 

“This isn’t about trans- or homophobia,” board member Hector Vila said. “This isn’t about politics.” 

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Last week, Jamie Reed, a former healthcare worker at a transgender clinic in Missouri spoke out about how “morally and medically appalling” this type of health care is for youth. 

“I left the clinic in November of last year because I could no longer participate in what was happening there. By the time I departed, I was certain that the way the American medical system is treating these patients is the opposite of the promise we make to ‘do no harm.’ Instead, we are permanently harming the vulnerable patients in our care,” Reed wrote in her piece for The Free Press.

“The mental health of these kids was deeply concerning—there were diagnoses like schizophrenia, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and more. Often they were already on a fistful of pharmaceuticals,” Reed explained. “This was tragic, but unsurprising given the profound trauma some had been through. Yet no matter how much suffering or pain a child had endured, or how little treatment and love they had received, our doctors viewed gender transition—even with all the expense and hardship it entailed—as the solution.”

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