Progressives Melt Down Over Gov. DeSantis' Move to Ban Medical Gender Transition for Kids

AP Photo/John Raoux

Those in favor of pushing for children to be able to medically transition to the opposite sex just got some more bad news. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is moving to prohibit such procedures for minors. As you can imagine, this has elicited consternation from progressives, who have no problem with kids undergoing life-changing and potentially irreversible surgeries.

NBC News reported:

The state Health Department made the request hours after another state agency issued a 46-page report to justify banning Medicaid coverage for transgender people of any age who want puberty blockers, hormone therapies or gender-reassignment surgery.

The two-pronged effort, which ensures DeSantis can act quickly and without the need for legislative approval, drew instant opposition from activists and medical professionals. They have increasingly clashed with DeSantis, a Republican, as he seeks re-election and builds a national brand as a culture warrior and potential 2024 White House contender.

In a letter obtained by NBC News, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo issued guidance to the state’s Board of Medicine recommending that medical transgender treatments for children should be stopped. He repudiated guidance given by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, which affirms the necessity of these treatments.

Ladapo asserted that his recommendations “are based on a lack of conclusive evidence and the high risk for long-term, irreversible harms from these treatments.”

The surgeon general explained that the Agency for Health Care Administration conducted a “full review” to ascertain if transgender treatments are “consistent with generally accepted professional medical standards (GAPMS) and not experimental or investigational.”

He went on to contend that despite the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Endocrine Society touting these treatments, “the scientific evidence supporting these complex medical interventions is extraordinarily weak.”

Ladapo also argued that the “standards set by numerous professional organizations appear to follow a preferred political ideology instead of the highest level of generally accepted medical science.”

He then requested that the Florida Board of Medicine “establish a standard of care” that would possibly prevent medical professionals from prescribing transgender treatments for children.

Gary Howell, a psychologist based in Tampa who treats transgender patients, took issue with DeSantis’ move, telling NBC News: “It’s unconstitutional for the government to step in and deprive youth — and especially trans youth — of getting the necessary medical care they need,” he insisted, also claiming it “interferes with the rights of parents.”

DeSantis’ administration has often pointed to Sweden and Finland, which were early adopters of medical transgender treatments for children. Now, they have drastically scaled back the practice.

In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, columnist Michael Hiltzik slammed Gov. DeSantis, portraying him as an anti-trans bigot. He wrote:

He has mocked transgender people in public, including University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, signed legislation requiring Florida K-12 and college sports teams must be designated male or female based on “biological” sex, and of course earlier this year signed a measure limiting gender discussions in Florida schools — the notorious bill nicknamed “Don’t Say Gay” by critics.

The author was referencing when DeSantis referred to champion transgender woman swimmer as a “that,” and mocking the notion that men can get pregnant. Hiltzik also repeated the progressive lie about the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits educators from instructing kids seven years old and younger on gender identity or sexuality. Hiltzik also took issue with the fact that DeSantis is taking this action at the beginning of LGBTQ Pride Month.

Florida State Rep. Anna Eskamani took to Twitter to voice her displeasure with the governor’s decision. “Yep. DeSantis continues to politicize, attack and endanger #LGBTQ+ youth and especially trans kids,” she wrote.

Actor John Fugelsang also chimed in. He tweeted: “Ron DeSantis looked at trans kids and thought ‘how can I make their lives more marginalized, more confusing and more lonely?’”

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) also tweeted:

The GOP’s attacks on LGBTQ+ youth are hateful and dangerous.

The leading cause of trans youth suicide is a lack of access to gender affirming care.

@GovRonDeSantis is choosing bigotry over the lives of our most vulnerable young people.

Regardless of the criticism, it’s tough to blame DeSantis for this action. It seems obvious that the organizations touting these types of treatments for children are motivated more by politics than science. The fact that other countries that previously embraced medical transitions for minors are walking back their decision is a compelling fact that the left would rather avoid.

Moreover, at a time when many schools are blatantly attempting to groom children into adopting a transgender identity when it is not clear they are actually suffering from gender dysphoria, we have to be extra careful about pushing permanent treatments for kids whose brains have not yet fully developed. Perhaps this could lead to other, safer treatments for children who are experiencing confusion about their gender.


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