GOP lawmakers move to ban puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapies for minors

By: - March 3, 2023 4:59 pm

Trans activists left the October 2022 Florida Board of Medicine rule-making committee meeting yelling, “The blood is on your hands,” to conduct a “die-in” protest just outside the meeting. Credit: Erin Reed

Just last month, Florida medical agencies banned minors for receiving gender affirming care. Now, GOP lawmakers want to make those prohibitions state law.

Legislation filed on Friday would make it illegal for minors to receive gender affirming care, such as hormone replacement therapies and puberty blockers to anyone under the age of 18.

The bills come at a time when transgender kids are facing a barrage of attacks and limitations on their medical freedoms.

The House version of the legislation was filed by Rep. Randy Fine, who foreshadowed that a bill banning gender affirming care for minors was just around the corner at a House panel discussion last week. Fine represents part of Brevard County.

Fine’s bill, HB 1421, prohibits what the bill calls “gender clinical interventions,” meaning procedures or therapies “that alter internal or external physical traits” among minors.

The term “gender clinical intervention” includes surgeries that alter primary or secondary sexual characteristics, puberty blockers or hormone therapies. The bill has exceptions for minors with ambiguous sex characteristics or those with sexual development disorders.

The Senate version of the bill, SB 254 and filed by Sen. Clay Yarborough, grants state courts temporary emergency jurisdiction over children if they are at risk of or is being subjected to the “provision of sex-reassignment prescriptions or procedures.” That would mean that children could potentially be removed from their homes if they are suspected of receiving gender affirming care. Yarborough is a Republican represents Nassau and part of Duval counties.

The Yarborough bill classifies subjecting a minor child to gender-affirming care as “unjustifiable conduct,” and says that a parent can remove “a child from another parent or from another state for the purpose of protecting a child from” gender affirming care.

Courts would also have the ability to adjust custody agreements in another state’s court if a child receives gender affirming care.

Earlier this week, Yarborough filed a bill that would prohibit the use of preferred pronouns in Florida’s public schools and bans school personnel from even asking a student for their pronouns.

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Danielle J. Brown
Danielle J. Brown

Danielle J. Brown is a 2018 graduate of Florida State University. She has served as an editorial intern for International Program’s annual magazine and Rowland Publishing. She was born and raised in Tallahassee and reviews community theater productions for the Tallahassee Democrat.