Families file lawsuit to block Florida ban on essential medical care for transgender youth

“I have no choice but to fight this ban to protect my daughter’s health.” -Plaintiff Jane Doe, on behalf of herself and her daughter Susan, is challenging the policy

MARCH 23, 2023 (Tallahassee) – Four Florida families today challenge new Board of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine rules banning medically necessary care needed by transgender children. filed a lawsuit in federal court.

Efforts to ban established medical care for transgender youth have been widely criticized by doctors, medical associations and researchers. That includes more than 300 health care providers in Florida who have experience treating transgender youth for the intense pain they experience when they are unable to live as themselves.

This ban contradicts guidelines established through years of clinical research and recommended by all major medical associations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

This policy illegally deprives parents of the right to make informed decisions about the treatment of their children and denies them medically necessary and physician-recommended health care to treat gender dysphoria. It violates the right of equal protection of young people of any gender.

All plaintiffs are proceeding under pseudonyms to protect the children’s privacy.

Among the families opposing the ban are Jane Doe and her 11-year-old daughter, Susan. Does is a military family who moved to Florida when John Doe was stationed there as a senior officer in the US Navy.

“Like most parents, my husband and I only want our daughter to be healthy, happy and safe.” Jane Doe said. “It is very important for our family to be able to consult with our team of doctors to understand what our daughter is going through so we can make the best and most informed decisions about her care. She is a happy and confident child, but this ban robs her of the right to provide her with the next steps of recommended treatment when she reaches puberty. Our military doctors understand the importance of providing evidence-based and personalized care. We are proud to serve our country, but We are treated differently than other military families because of decisions made by politicians in our state. We have no choice but to fight this ban to protect our daughter’s physical and mental health.”

“This ban puts me and other Florida parents in a nightmare position of not being able to help our children when they need us most.” Brenda Boe, who is challenging the ban on behalf of herself and her 14-year-old son, Bennett Boe, said. “My son deserves proper, evidence-based medical care. He has finally reached a place where he feels hopeful. It can be stripped down by this cruel and discriminatory rule.”

“Working with our medical team to understand what my daughter is going through, and learning the effective treatments that have been established there, that are already helping her progress has been incredible. It’s a relief.” Fiona Four is challenging the ban on behalf of herself and her 10-year-old daughter, Freya Four. “Not everyone may understand what it means to have a transgender child, but it is cruel and unfair to deprive my daughter of the opportunity to help her live a healthy and happy life.”

“Our daughter has been saying she’s a girl since she was 3 and it hasn’t gone away.” Carla Coe, a plaintiff in the lawsuit along with her 9-year-old daughter, Christina Coe, said: “Since she has been able to live as a girl, she has become much happier and more adaptable. is very important to her family. I am concerned that this ban will deprive her of basic medical care that she may need when she is older. I just want to do the right thing.”

Parent plaintiffs and their children are represented by Southern Counsel, GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Advocates, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Human Rights Campaign. Given the immediate and substantial harm children face because of this ban, plaintiffs have asked federal court to issue a preliminary injunction to stay the policy while their case against it is ongoing. Federal judges in Alabama and Arkansas have blocked similar bans on established medical care for transgender youth.

The enactment of Florida’s Transgender Health Care Ban, which took effect on March 16, 2023, was a politically motivated process triggered by the Governor’s request to revise established medical standards for health care for transgender youth. and ignoring scientific consensus, it faces considerable scrutiny.

In the summer of 2022, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Radapo and the Department of Health called on the State Medical Board and the Osteopathic Medical Board to adamantly ban all treatment for gender dysphoria in children under the age of 18. In February and March 2023, respectively, the Board decided that transgender youth who have been diagnosed with a gender identity disorder but who have not yet started puberty-delaying pharmacological or hormonal therapy should be given a safe and effective treatment. Adopted formal regulations prohibiting access to medical care. Surgeon General Radapo and all members of the Florida Medical Board and the Osteopathic Medical Board are defendants in a family lawsuit challenging the ban.

“This policy has come about through a political process with predetermined conclusions, in stark contrast to the overwhelming weight of evidence and science.” Simone Chris, Head of the Transgender Rights Initiative and Southern General Counsel, said: “There is incredible hypocrisy when a country that is deeply concerned with protecting ‘parental rights’ deprives parents of the right to have their children receive adequate medical care. I has been working with families and their health care providers in Florida for many years. I am very concerned about the impact.”

“The Florida Medical Board chose to ignore the evidence and science in front of them, instead putting families in the unthinkable position of not being able to provide essential health care for their children.” . Jennifer Levy, senior director of transgender and queer rights at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, said:

“Parents, not governments, should make decisions about child health care.” Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said: “This policy crosses a dangerous line and should be of concern to anyone who cares about family privacy and the ability of doctors to do their jobs without undue government intervention.”

“It is alarming to see such a coordinated top-down effort targeting a small and vulnerable population.” Sarah Warbellow, Legal Director of the Human Rights Campaign, said: “The Florida Department of Health and the Medical Board needs to focus on the real and serious public health problems facing Florida, not on endangering transgender children and their families.”

Read your complaint and visit our case page.

Southern Legal Counsel, Inc. (SLC) is a Florida-wide, nonprofit public interest law firm committed to the ideal of providing equal justice for all and achieving basic human and civil rights. I’m in. SLC’s Transgender Rights Initiative protects the rights of Florida’s LGBTQ+ community through federal impact litigation, policy advocacy, and individual representation.

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) is committed to building a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status and sexual orientation through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy and education. is.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are included in society at home, at work, and in every community. www.hrc.org

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. is. Since its inception, NCLR has maintained a long-standing commitment to racial and economic justice and the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community.

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