Two Florida medical boards approved a new rule Friday that bans gender transition procedures for minors.
The state’s Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine moved to prohibit surgeries and giving puberty blockers and hormone therapies for children with gender dysphoria.
The initiative follows an August request from Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladopo to prohibit gender reassignment procedures for minors.
Both boards held a contentious public hearing on the matter last week, and heard from both opponents and backers of the ban.
Supporters assert that minors are ill-equipped to make fully formed decisions to undergo sometimes irreversible gender transition treatments including mastectomies.
Critics, who refer to the measures as “gender-affirming” care, argue they should be fully available to transgender youth.
Several transgender speakers said they’ve benefitted from the procedures, and that they’ve helped them embrace their chosen identity.
Others countered that they regretted undergoing the treatments after later changing their mind about gender transitions.
The new rules require further public comment and are likely to be met with legal challenges.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has passed several laws related to transgender issues, including banning discussion of gender identity in school for kids in kindergarten through third grade.
DeSantis has argued that the subject is age-inappropriate and that doctors who perform the treatments should be sued.
President Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services has staunchly opposed any curbing of access to gender transition procedures for minors.
HHS Assistant Secretary Rachel Levine, who is transgender, blasted the ban.
“This is the first time I have seen a medical board weaponized against medical providers that are providing evidence-based, standard of care treatment,” she told STAT News, calling it “unprecedented.”