Transgender youth in Florida will no longer be able to access gender-affirming treatment — even during clinical trials.
The Florida Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine adopted new rules on Friday banning hormone replacement therapy and puberty blockers for minors.
Also, at a joint meeting of the boards, the Board of Osteopathic Medicine unanimously voided an exception that made it possible for young people to receive medical treatment when enrolled in studies conducted by state universities. This exception resulted from a contentious meeting last year when the two boards voted to have separate standards for different providers when providing gender-affirming medical treatment to minors. As a result, the rules of the two boards are now aligned.
In a Tallahassee hotel where the meeting was held, attendees shouted expletives leading to tense moments that prompted law enforcement officials to position themselves at the front of the room.
“Shame on the Florida Boards of Medicine and Osteopathy for continuing this assault on the health of young people and the rights of their parents to seek the best care possible for their children,” Nikole Parker, director of transgender quality at Equality Florida, said in a statement. “This rule puts transgender youth at higher risk of depression, anxiety, and suicidality and strips parents of the right to make decisions about care for their kids.”
Supporters and advocates pleaded with doctors on the Florida Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine to retain access to what many described as lifesaving care. One transgender man gave himself a hormone injection during his speaking period. Many spoke of feelings of suicidal ideation passing with access to gender-affirming care.
However, the board was unimpressed and voted in favor of the governor’s ban anyway.
“Those are the facts that have been purposely ignored by Boards of Medicine and Osteopathy stacked with DeSantis allies and campaign donors who have put their toxic politics over people’s health and wellbeing,” Parker said.
“Transgender Floridians exist. Transgender youth exist. Gender-affirming care is lifesaving care — and it is care that is supported by every major medical organization, an overwhelming majority of medical providers, and should be left to young people, their families, and their doctors; not politicians.”
A press conference was held beforehand to condemn the political moves of the Boards and the DeSantis Administration, which attracted more than 150 advocates for transgender and youth rights.
Transgender young people and families whose lives would be affected by the proposed rule spoke at the press event alongside legal experts, medical professionals, and community leaders.