Denying Gender-Affirming Care for Trans Youth
November 16, 2022
During the 2022 legislative session, at least 20 states have proposed bills that restrict healthcare for trans youth. Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) proposed a terrifying set of rules in April 2022: “anyone under 18 should not be prescribed puberty blockers or hormone therapy.” And now, those rules will now be drafted as law.
On October 28, 2022, a joint committee of the Florida Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine voted in favor of a proposed rule prohibiting gender-affirming care for trans youth. A week later, on November 4, 2022, the Board voted 6-3 to formalize language for new rules that will severely restrict access to puberty blockers and hormone therapy for transgender youth under 18. Now, the rules are in the 21-day period of public comment before proceeding further in the ratification process. At the conclusion of the public comments, there might be a hearing, or the measure will take effect.
With its action taken on November 4, Florida has officially banned gender-affirming care for trans youth, making it the first state to limit care for trans youth through its Board of Medicine, whose 14 members were appointed by DeSantis.
Advocates for trans youth have made their disdain for the rules clear. In Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow’s words, implementation of the rules “will do irreparable harm to countless Floridian kids and their families.” The Endocrine Society called the new standard of care “anti-science” and “blatantly discriminatory.” Nikole Parker, the director of transgender equality at Equality Florida, stated that the rules put “toxic politics over people’s health and wellbeing.”
We at the Woodhull Freedom Foundation vehemently oppose this unthinkably cruel and harmful decision. DeSantis, the Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine, and all supporters of the rules are advocating for children to be denied life-saving healthcare. We firmly believe that trans youth deserve to access medical care that is compassionate, holistic, and affirming.