Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office said Wednesday that it will work to block public universities in the state from performing so-called “gender-affirming” care on kids.
An investigation by The College Fix, a conservative website focused on higher education, found that taxpayer-funded universities in 13 red states provide gender-transition surgery or puberty blockers to minors.
Florida is one of the baker’s dozen. The Fix noted that University of Florida Health, the healthcare system of the state’s flagship university, provides hormone therapy and “gender-affirming surgical procedures” to children.
On its website, UF Health brags, “For patients under 18, UF Health has nationally distinguished pediatric endocrinologists who can assist with pubertal suppression as well as gender-affirming hormone therapy.”
DeSantis, arguably the top Republican politician in America right now, staunchly opposes any transgender procedure on minors, as does state Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo.
The Florida Department of Health has recommended against gender-swapping treatments for people under 18, saying the science on that is far from settled and that other nations have paused or halted such procedures. The governor has prohibited Medicaid funding from being
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According to The Fix, DeSantis would agree to outlaw such activity at public universities, and the governor expected legislation implementing that to drop soon.
“He does not support taxpayer dollars funding these experimental and potentially harmful interventions on children,” DeSantis’ spokeswoman Christina Pushaw told The Fix.
Although “no such legislation passed in the last regular session,” Pushaw added, “there are proposals being discussed for the next legislative session.”
Meanwhile, the state is reviewing policies to determine whether Florida can prohibit Medicaid dollars from covering transgender surgeries and drugs for minors.
Brock Juarez, a spokesman for Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, told The Fix that the administration has found that “several services for the treatment of gender dysphoria promoted by the Federal Government – i.e., sex reassignment surgery, cross-sex hormones, and puberty blockers – are not consistent with widely accepted professional medical standards and are experimental and investigational with the potential for harmful long term effects.”
The Fix reported that other states with public universities that provide such treatments include Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Oklahoma, Utah, North Carolina, and West Virginia.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster allowed to stand a provision in the state budget that blocked any funding “to support any action furthering the gender transition of a minor” under age 16, a spokesman told The Fix.
DeSantis has been clear he would tamp down on such procedures for children if given a chance to do so.
“Yeah, I would ban the sex change – the operations,” DeSantis told conservative podcaster, Lisa Boothe, back in May, as The Free Press reported.
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“I think that it’s something that you can’t get a tattoo if you’re 12 years old. When they say gender-affirming care, what they mean a lot of times is you are really, you’re castrating a young boy, you’re sterilizing a young girl, you’re doing mastectomies for these very young girls.”
“It seems like there’s a concerted effort in society to push these kids in, to do some type of medical intervention, and in our judgment that’s not healthy,” he added.