Florida lawmakers pass ‘dangerous’ trans-medicine ban

A Florida conservation holding a sign reading 'Give our transgender children a happy future' as the state curtails access to gender-affirming health care for transgender youth. Two people standing in the ward

Florida legislators have passed a “very dangerous” bill that would ban gender-affirming medical care for trans minors and limit such treatment for adults.

The Florida legislature on Thursday (May 4) passed a bill banning doctors from providing transgender youth with gender-affirming medical care, including puberty blockers and hormone therapy. Physicians who do so may have their license revoked and face criminal penalties.

The Republican-dominated Florida House of Representatives passed SB 254 Thursday, 83-28 (after the state Senate, which also has a Republican majority, approved the bill last month, 27-12).

Now it’s directed at the desk of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has supported transgender medical bans in the past.

SB 254 requires transgender adults seeking gender-confirming medical care to sign a consent form. It also prevents Medicaid from covering such medical care for transgender people of all ages.

Additionally, the bill prohibits government agencies, Florida’s group health insurance programs, and public universities from using state funds to cover transgender health care.

Dr Marcy Bowers, president of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), said the bill “will have a chilling impact on the medical community by inserting politics into healthcare.”

“This ban will make it more difficult for transgender and gender-diverse people to access essential health care, as health care providers could face criminal penalties for simply doing their jobs,” said Bowers. said.

“Let me be clear, the medical community is united in supporting gender-affirming care as safe, effective, and necessary care. There is no room for misinformation or extremist ideology in our work.”

Bowers said Florida politicians are taking actions that “completely contradict decades of research showing the mental and physical health benefits of gender-affirming care.”

Studies show that trans people who have access to gender-affirming treatment are significantly more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts than those who cannot access such treatment. It is overwhelmingly shown to be low.

Further research found that transgender youth who had access to hormone therapy reported increased positive emotions, life satisfaction, and self-confidence.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who supports a bill to ban gender-affirming medicine in his state, wears a white shirt, blue tie and dark jacket and stares into the distance.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has backed a transgender medical ban in the past, is expected to sign SB 254 into law. (Getty)

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) denounced the bill as a move to give Florida politicians “unprecedented ability to remove custody from parents who support their transgender children.”

Under SB 254, courts can grant “temporary emergency jurisdiction” over a child if the child “received or was threatened to receive” gender-affirming medical care.

The bill treats such medical procedures, supported by many respected medical institutions, as best medical practices, just as they do for child abuse.

Kathryn Oakley, HRC’s head of state law and senior counsel, said the bill was “extremely dangerous and extreme.”

Oakley added: Parents will be denied access to potentially life-saving, best-practice health care on behalf of their children, supported by America’s entire healthcare system. Hinders healthcare providers from providing best-practice healthcare. It even threatens to overturn out-of-state custody decisions. ”

On DeSantis’ desk are bills banning transgender people from going to the bathroom according to their gender, and state “Don’t Say Gay” bills banning teachers from using transgender student pronouns. Numerous anti-LGBTQ+ bills are on the desk, including further expanding the .

DeSantis is expected to sign it into law.

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