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Tipsheet

DeSantis Signs Law Protecting Children From Irreversible, Experimental Gender Treatments, Surgeries

AP Photo/Ron Johnson

On Wednesday, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida signed a bill into law banning irreversible gender transition treatments and surgeries for children, including puberty blockers, hormone therapy treatments and sex reassignment surgery. 

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The bill, S.B. 254, was introduced by state Sen. Clay Yarborough to protect children from “drastic life-altering gender dysphoria therapies and surgeries.” This condition is when a person believes their gender does not align with their biological sex. 

"I mean they're trying to do sex change operations on minors, giving them puberty blockers and doing things that are irreversible to them. That is not based on science. That is not based on evidence." DeSantis said at the bill signing. "In fact, you have had countries that have tried to do this in Europe and they recognized that this was very harmful. And so, now they don’t do it. Places like Sweden. Yet, here in the United States, you have a very, I would say, ideologically charged small group of folks within medicine that are really pushing these types of procedures on minors. We think that that is wrong."

"This will permanently outlaw the mutilation of minors," DeSantis added. “It will also require any adults receiving these surgeries to be informed about the irreversible nature and about the dangers of the procedures. It will give Florida courts temporary jurisdiction to intervene and halt procedures for out-of-state children.”

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According to the Pensacola News Journal, which is affiliated with USA Today, critics labeled the law as the “abduction” bill because it allows children to be “legally kidnapped” by “disagreeing parents,” even if the parents live across state lines, if a child is subject to or threatened with gender transition prescriptions or procedures. Yarborough said that both parents should have a say in whether or not their child undergoes these treatments or procedures. 

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DeSantis noted that other states, like Colorado and California, have passed legislation aimed at becoming a “safe haven” for children’s transgender care, the complete opposite of what Florida is doing.

“I think this provision is important,” DeSantis said. “This is going to create a way to recover damages for injury or death resulting from mutilating surgeries or these experimental puberty blockers given to a minor. Cause what happens: they go through this, they get older, and this is a huge problem. They should be able to sue the physician who hurt them and they’re now going to be able to with the law.” 

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