The medical board in Florida decided to ban gender-affirming healthcare for trans children and adolescents.

The Florida Board of Medicine (FBM) has decided to ban gender-affirming healthcare treatment for trans minors in the state. Research has proven that gender-affirming healthcare improves trans people’s mental health and overall well-being. It can even be lifesaving. Research proves that puberty blockers better people’s mental health. According to a recent study, young trans people are far less likely to have suicidal ideations and attempt suicide when receiving gender-affirming healthcare.

This is especially the case for trans kids and adolescents who would otherwise have to go through a wrong puberty. The effects of going through an unwanted puberty will have to be reversed later in life. This only prolongs the process of medically transitioning as well as mentally harming trans people further.

Florida Bans Trans Healthcare for Children

This November, the FBM had drafted a law that sought to ban trans people under the age of 18 from accessing puberty blockers, hormone therapy and gender-related surgeries. The proposed law passed with two thirds voting in favour and only one third voting against it. This means that trans minors who are currently receiving gender-affirming healthcare in Florida will have to permanently halt their treatment.

The rules were initially proposed by Governor Ron DeSantis in April of this year. Last October, a board committee approved them. The ban was subsequently drafted as a law. The American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association have all advised against the rules of this ban.

Florida has seen a high number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills and laws in 2022. For example, the Don’t Say Gay law which banned the discussion of any LGBTQ+ related topic in schools. Teachers were hiding their queer and trans identities at work and children were not permitted to talk about LGBTQ+ issues and identities. Even US President Joe Biden expressed his disagreement with the Don’t Say Gay law, stating that his ‘administration will continue to fight for the protections and safety’ of the LGBTQ+ community impacted by this bill.

Violating Human Rights

Florida’s ban is a violation of human rights. Trans youth are already suffering under serious mental health issues due to anti-trans biases within the mental healthcare system. Not allowing them to access life-saving medical care is an additional attack on trans lives. According to the Human Rights Campaign social media post, this ban will only ‘endanger more lives’.

Politicians in Florida need to stop interfering in trans people’s lives. They need to stop making decisions based on what they think is best for trans children and adolescents when in reality they are harming young trans people.