Updated Aug 6, 2022 - Health

Florida medical board looks to block gender-affirming treatments for minors

Illustration of a red circle, with the state of Florida forming a bar across it, with the transgender pride flag underneath.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Florida's medical board voted Friday to start the process of updating its rules for banning gender-affirming medical treatment for young people.

Why it matters: The vote begins a process of updating guidance on gender-affirming treatments in Florida, which is the third most populated state in the country.

Driving the news: Florida's Board of Medicine voted Friday in a public hearing to approve the beginning stages of creating rules that will prohibit minors from receiving hormone therapy and undergoing surgeries for gender dysphoria, according to Click Orlando.

  • Some transgender people experience gender dysphoria when their bodies don't align with their gender, Politico reports.
  • The board voted to approve holding workshops, gathering data and speaking with experts to build a standard of care.
  • The vote allows the board to "make a decision on whether to adopt a rule that limits the use of puberty blockers, hormone treatments, and irreversible surgeries (such as double mastectomies) as treatment options for children with gender dysphoria," Jeremy Redfern, press secretary for the Florida Department of Health, told Axios in an email.

What they're saying: "The Florida Board of Medicine opened the rule-making process to review the evidence around these procedures, especially as applied to children," said Bryan Griffin, the deputy press secretary to DeSantis, in an email to Axios. "As the governor has stated, Florida will make policy based on facts. This is yet another step in the fact-finding process."

State of play: Florida's Department of Health previously said treatments like puberty blockers and hormone therapy can create adverse health effects, including cardiovascular disease, infertility and risk of cancer.

The big picture: DeSantis (R) has become more vocal about these therapies, oftentimes opposing them. His administration asked the medical board to ban transition-related care for transgender minors in June.

Go deeper ... DeSantis asks medical board to ban transgender health care

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