Florida is fighting back against the Biden administration’s claims about care for so-called “transgender kids,” issuing guidance via the state’s Department of Health saying that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones should not be used to treat gender dysphoria in children.
The guidance was released amid intense national debate over the best way to treat children who claim to be transgender. Red states have attempted to stop these dangerous treatments for children, but have been receiving pushback.
A controversial Alabama law made it a felony to prescribe or administer puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones to individuals under the age of 19, but it is now being challenged in court. In Texas, a judge blocked an order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott which equated these treatments with “child abuse” and directed state agencies to investigate those who provide transgender medical care as criminals.
President Joe Biden released a statement on “Transgender Day of Visibility,” attacking “the onslaught of anti-transgender state laws” and telling parents that “affirming your child’s identity is one of the most powerful things you can do to keep them safe.”
Florida’s Department of Health stated in their guidance released on Wednesday that “current evidence does not support the use of puberty blockers, hormone treatments or surgical procedures for children and adolescents” experiencing gender dysphoria.
A press release from the agency cited a study from the International Review of Psychiatry, which revealed that 80% of those who identify as transgender and seek clinical care will lose their desire to identify as the opposite sex.
The department also noted that puberty is essential for brain development, and that scientific evidence indicates that the part of the brain responsible for decision-making is not fully developed until the age of 25.
The DOH also mentioned known side effects of puberty blockers and cross sexy hormone doses, listing “potentially irreversible consequences such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, infertility, increased cancer risk, and thrombosis.”
The guidance goes on to conclude that social gender transition, prescribed puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones, and gender reassignment surgery have “an unacceptably high risk of doing harm” to minors.
Florida’s guidance completely contradicts federal guidance and the opinions of doctors and psychologists in major medical groups.
Of course, the Biden administration is encouraging these dangerous and unethical practices. In a series of documents released in March in response to actions taken by GOP-controlled state governments, the administration endorsed sex-change surgeries and cross-sex hormone treatments for so-called ‘transgender children.’
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services claimed that “gender-affirming care” is the “standard of care for transgender, gender diverse, and intersex youth” that is approved by “major medical associations,” including the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics.
The Florida Department of Health released a fact sheet challenging these claims made by HHS.
Speaking out against the claims of the Biden administration, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo released a statement accusing the federal government’s recommendations of “failing at the most basic level of academic rigor.”
“The federal government’s medical establishment releasing guidance failing at the most basic level of academic rigor shows that this was never about health care,” Ladapo said in the statement. “It was about injecting political ideology into the health of our children. Children experiencing gender dysphoria should be supported by family and seek counseling, not pushed into an irreversible decision before they reach 18.”
Predictably, the left is furious over Florida’s actions. Reacting to the release of the new guidelines, LGBTQ activist group Equality Florida issued a statement accusing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration of seeking “to replace science and the safety of young people with political propaganda.”
“The Florida Department of Health has released non-binding guidance opposing science-backed health care resources for parents of transgender children,” the group claimed. “This guidance demonizes life-saving, medically necessary care and asserts that the government, not parents, knows best when it comes to health care for our children. And, once again, DeSantis wants the government to intrude into doctors’ offices to pander to extremists in service to his political ambitions.”
In response to criticism of his state’s actions, Florida Department of Health press secretary Jeremy Redfern urged those opposed to the guidelines on Twitter to “Try reading the evidence and fact check.”