On Thursday, Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ administration took multiple steps to protect children by fighting against transgender surgery for minors.
In a letter obtained by NBC News, Florida Surgeon General Joseph A. Ladapo slammed the surgery for children.
“Florida must do more to protect children from politics-based medicine. Otherwise, children and adolescents in our state will continue to face a substantial risk of long-term harm,” Ladapo wrote to the Florida Board of Medicine.
“While some professional organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Endocrine Society, recommend these treatments for ‘gender affirming’ care, the scientific evidence supporting these complex medical interventions is extraordinarily weak,” he added.
Hours earlier, Tom Wallace, Florida’s deputy secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration, released a 46-page report arguing against Medicare coverage for trans surgeries.
“Following a review of available literature, clinical guidelines, and coverage by other insurers and nations, Florida Medicaid has determined that the research supporting sex reassignment treatment is insufficient to demonstrate efficacy and safety,” Wallace wrote in his 46-page report. “In addition, numerous studies, including the reports provided by the clinical and technical experts listed above, identify poor methods and the certainty of irreversible physical changes.”
“Considering the weak evidence supporting the use of puberty suppression, cross-sex hormones, and surgical procedures when compared to the stronger research demonstrating the permanent effects they cause, these treatments do not conform to GAPMS and are experimental and investigational,” he continued.
Wallace also pointed to Sweden and Finland, which were some of the first countries to engage in prescribing transgender treatments for children but have recently released new guidelines against their use.
“In 2022, the Swedish National Board of Health stated that ‘the risks of hormonal interventions for gender dysphoric youth outweigh the potential benefits.’ With the exception of youths who exhibited ‘classic’ signs of gender identity issues, adolescents who present with the condition will receive behavioral health services and gender-exploratory therapy,” Wallace noted. “In Finland, the Palveluvalikoima issued guidelines in 2020 stating that sex reassignment in minors ‘is an experimental practice’ and that ‘no irreversible treatment should be initiated.’ The guidelines further assert that youths diagnosed with gender dysphoria often have co-occurring psychiatric disorders that must be stabilized prior to prescribing any cross-sex hormones or undergoing sex reassignment surgery.”
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