The Florida Board of Medicine has voted to ban ‘gender affirming care’ for transgender teenagers in the state. The move will block access to puberty blockers and hormone therapies to minors in order to treat gender dysphoria. Those receiving the drugs for other reasons will be exempt from this decision.
Board members said the decision was made based on the irreversibility of the drugs and the growing number of people choosing to ‘detransition’.
It will apply to all teens in the state, even those that are currently undergoing treatment using the drugs.
Arizona has similar restrictions in place already. Alabama, Arkansas and Texas have attempted to enact similar rules but have been held up by the courts.
Joseph Ladapo, the state’s surgeon general, requested for the board to establish a standard for care for trans teens earlier this year.
Under Gov Ron DeSantis, Florida has been at the forefront of the trans debate in the US in recent months.
In August, the board voted to adopt an official ‘standard of care’ in the state that opposes the use of puberty blockers and hormone therapies for trans teens.
The decision made Friday will now be passed on to the full medical board, who are likely to adopt the recommendations.
Advocates for the ban on trans care testified during the meeting, and included detransitioners.
One woman explained that she was diagnosed with PTSD, OCD and even attempted suicide while using testosterone while she was living as a transman.
Since detransitioning, 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 detransition, 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.’