The Florida Board of Medicine has voted to ban ‘gender-affirming care’ for trans teenagers in the state.
The move will block access to puberty blockers and hormone therapies to minors under the age of 18 who have gender dysphoria.
Board members said the decision was made based on the irreversibility of the drugs and the growing number of people choosing to ‘de-transition’.
It will apply to all teens in the state, even those that have a prescription and are currently taking the drugs.
The recommendation will now be passed on to the full medical board, who are expected to adopt the rule.
Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has long been critical of the use of medical treatments in trans children, previously saying doctors who operate on children ‘need to get sued’.
Arizona has similar restrictions in place already, while Alabama, Arkansas and Texas have attempted to enact similar rules but have been held up by the courts.
A detransitioner at the Florida hearing said that she is happy that she did not receive surgery and that her gender affirming care led to her developing PTSD, OCD and a suicide attempt
Commenters at the meeting included detransitioners
Dr Joseph Ladapo, Florida’s surgeon general, requested for the board to establish a standard for care for trans teens earlier this year.
According to a report released earlier this year by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 1.34 per cent of the state’s teens aged 13 to 17 years old are trans.
Under the new rules, teens in Florida who use puberty blocking drugs for their original intended use — from being intersex or having an early puberty — will still be able to access them.
Doctors in the state will now be barred from recommending them to dysphoric patients.
Puberty blockers are often used by trans teens to delay the process for years. There is little evidence on their long-term effects.
Hormone treatments allow for a person to begin to display biological traits from the opposite sex, such as deepening a woman’s voice.
Advocates for the ban on trans care testified during the meeting, and included de-transitioners.
One woman explained that she was diagnosed with PTSD, OCD and even attempted suicide while using testosterone while she was living as a transman.
This map shows the proportion of children aged between 13 and 17 years old that identified as transgender by state. The darker colors indicate a higher proportion of youngsters. In New York and New Mexico, it is as high as three per cent
The number of chest reconstruction surgeries among children in the US jumped five-fold from 2016 to 2019, from 100 to 489 annually
Fury as American Nurses Association calls for all restrictions on child sex changes to be lifted
American nurses were today accused of ‘failing children’ after calling for all restrictions on sex changes to be lifted.
The American Nurses Association said it ‘strongly opposes’ any policies that limit access to trans healthcare in a statement issued Wednesday.
It is the latest medical membership body to throw its weight behind the controversial treatments.
Several Republican states are imposing age limits or tightening access to puberty blockers or surgery as the procedures become increasingly common and a growing number of ‘de-transitioners’ say they regret the irreversible procedures.
But ANA, which has four million members, said the restrictions are ‘not grounded in reputable science’.
Critics have blasted the ANA for what they called a ‘grotesque politicization’ of medicine.
Since de-transitioning, she said her mental health has improved but she still has a disrupted menstrual cycle and other after effects.
‘I’m truly grateful I never got surgery because I’m happily married and 28 weeks pregnant,’ one woman said.
‘But if I had gotten surgeries that I so desperately wanted as a teenager, that would’ve stolen this future from me.’
Some have warned that even though a person can de-transition, the impact the drugs will have on their hormones will last forever.
‘The scientific evidence supporting these complex medical interventions is extraordinarily weak,’ Dr Ladapo wrote in a June letter.
‘…there is great uncertainty about the effects of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries in young people with gender dysphoria.
‘The current standards set by numerous professional organizations appear to follow a preferred political ideology instead of the highest level of generally accepted medical science.
‘Florida must do more to protect children from politics-based medicine. Otherwise, children and adolescents in our state will continue to face a substantial risk of long-term harm.’
Florida is one of several states that have considered restricting trans care for minors in the state.
In Arizona, gender-affirming surgery – like chest reconstructions and operations to remove or replace genitals – are banned.
A recent Vanderbilt University study found that the number of chest reconstruction surgeries performed on trans youth had surged five-fold in recent years.
The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that 15 states are discussing 25 pieces of legislation that would restrict care for trans teens.