On Friday, the Florida Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine published new rules banning gender-affirming care for young people. This comes three months after the Florida Department of Health petitioned the Board to develop this ban and after two public comment periods where the Boards heard testimony from medical providers and advocates about the safety and importance of gender-affirming care. It also comes on the heels of a state ban on gender-affirming care under Medicaid. Florida is sending a message that they do not care about transgender or gender-diverse Floridians.
Gender-affirming care is safe, essential, life-saving health care that allows transgender and non-binary people to be able to live their full and authentic lives. Barriers to this essential health care make patients and communities less healthy.
Florida family medicine physician and fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health, Dr. Kelly Thibert, responds:
“To me, this decision suggests that the care I provide to transgender and non-binary youth is harmful and abusive, when in fact it is medically necessary care that can be life-saving. Implementation of these rules will have a drastically negative impact on transgender and non-binary youth and their families; adding inability to access basic medical care to the already overwhelming prejudice, discrimination, violence and stigma faced on a daily basis. These patients deserve to have access to their human right of affirming and evidence-based health care, in the communities in which they live.”