The Florida Board of Medicine voted Aug. 5 to begin the rule-making process to ban transgender treatments for minors. If the proposed rule is adopted, it would prohibit doctors from performing gender transition surgeries and prescribing puberty blockers for those under 18 diagnosed with gender dysphoria.
Of the 15-member medical board, only one member voted not to proceed. The vote means that the board will now begin a several month process of drafting the proposed rule, making sure the board and all interested parties agree on the specific language used in the rule.
Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo told reporters that the recommendations are “aligned with the truth.”
“By truth, I mean truth in science, in terms of what we actually know versus what people want to happen,” Ladapo said. “I feel like this is a recurring theme. Unfortunately, it is a recurring theme where we are seeing political beliefs overtake scientific reasoning, scientific data.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has long been critical of transgender treatments for minors.
“They are actually giving very young girls double mastectomies, they want to castrate these young boys,” he said during an Aug. 3 press conference. “That’s wrong, and so we’ve stood up and said both from the health and children well-being perspective, you don’t disfigure 10-, 12-, 13-year-old kids based on gender dysphoria.”
Quentin Van Meter, a pediatric endocrinologist who served as an expert for the state on the issue, warned the board that more and more children are receiving puberty blockers and other transgender treatments without fully being aware of the risks.
“We’re dealing with a monumental epidemic of increasing proportions,” Van Meter said. “This is a giant experiment on United States children.”
Anthony Verdugo, founder and executive director of the Christian Family Coalition Florida, explained that minors should not be expected to make life-altering decisions.
“Once they are adults they can do what they want. But minors simply do not have the mental capacity to make these life-altering decisions. Parents cannot allow a child to smoke or drink or drive a car at the age of 3.”
Chloe Cole’s personal experience confirms Verdugo’s assertion.
Cole, 17, shared her testimony during a public hearing before the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration in July. She said that at the age of 13 she “wasn’t capable of understanding” the ramifications of her decision to transition to a male identity.
Between the ages of 13 and 16, Cole took testosterone, puberty-blocking drugs and even had a double mastectomy. She has since decided to reverse course and admits, “[Transitioning] is not the path that I should have taken.”
Cole now encourages parents to not seek out transgender treatments for their children.
“No child should have to experience what I have,” she said.
Photo: Chris Allan/Alamy