Florida's gender-affirming care ban for trans youth takes effect
Florida's ban on gender-affirming health care for minors goes into effect today as Republican lawmakers seek to strengthen the ban and opponents make moves to fight it.
Driving the news: GOP legislators are now trying to codify the Florida Board of Medicine's ban with a proposed law that would also restrict adult care.
- The bill advancing in the Florida Senate would make providing gender-affirming medical care to transgender minors a felony and would prohibit state funds from being used to cover the same care for adults.
- A companion bill has been filed in the House.
Between the lines: The proposed legislation would also put trans health care at the center of custody battles in state courts, per the Miami Herald.
- Parents would be able to seek court reviews of custody agreements to fight another parent’s ability to seek gender-affirming care for the child out of state.
Meanwhile: Nonprofit law firm Southern Legal Counsel plans to file a federal lawsuit challenging the state's ban.
- SLC is also fighting the ban on Medicaid coverage for transgender health care, with a trial set for May 9.
Flashback: In November, the Florida Board of Medicine finalized a rule to prohibit health providers in the state from offering gender-affirming care, including puberty blockers, hormone therapy and surgeries, for transgender patients younger than 18.
- It marked the first time that a state medical board — government bodies that regulate the practice of medicine in a state — had pursued such a rule, Axios' Oriana Gonzalez reported.
The latest: Starting today, doctors who violate the rule risk being issued fines or having their licenses revoked by the board.
- Current patients are still allowed to continue with treatment, since they've been grandfathered in.
Of note: Major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, consider gender-affirming care to be medically necessary and potentially lifesaving to transgender youth.
Go deeper: Axios broke down what gender-affirming health care is, how it works and how it's covered by insurance.
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