Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration took another strong stand for the state’s children on Wednesday.
The state Department of Health issued new guidance about the treatment of gender dysphoria for children and adolescents.
The policy was announced in direct response to a recent statement by President Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services that approved “affirming care” for minors that includes puberty blockers and hormone therapy deemed “partially reversible.”
The Florida Health Department, much like it did with COVID-19, said it was relying on “the most up-to-date scientific data available” in an effort that “prioritizes the overall health and well-being of Florida’s children and adolescents.”
“The federal government’s medical establishment releasing guidance failing at the most basic level of academic rigor shows that this was never about health care,” state Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo said in a statement.
“It was about injecting political ideology into the health of our children. Children experiencing gender dysphoria should be supported by family and seek counseling, not pushed into an irreversible decision before they reach 18.”
The department noted in a press release that nations such as Sweden, Finland, France, and the United Kingdom are “currently reviewing, reevaluating, stopping, or advising caution on the treatment of gender dysphoria in children and adolescents.”
“Guidance of this magnitude requires a full, diligent understanding of the scientific evidence,” the release added. “The current evidence does not support the use of puberty blockers, hormone treatments, or surgical procedures for children and adolescents.”
As its evidence, the Health Department noted:
- 80 percent of those seeking clinical care will lose their desire to identify with the non-birth sex by the time they reach adulthood
- Puberty is vital to brain development, with the pre-frontal cortex, the section of the brain responsible for decision-making, does not fully develop until age 25
- The potentially “irreversible consequences” of treatment greenlit by the Biden administration include things such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, infertility, increased cancer risk, and thrombosis
The Health Department noted in its information released Wednesday that the HHS claimed “surgeries and other potentially permanent pharmaceutical interventions ‘have been demonstrated to yield lower rates of adverse mental health outcomes, build self-esteem, and improve overall quality of life.’”
The department then refuted that argument.
For example, a paper published in International Review of Psychiatry noted that 80 percent of those seeking clinical care for gender dysphoria will eventually drop their desire to identify with the non-birth sex.
In one case, the Biden administration relied on a case study involving one patient that contained more about the authors’ views than the actual science. Another article supposedly supporting the HHS cause wsa part of an online survey completed by 288 transgender adults, not children.
The Health Department also noted that in May 2021, Sweden’s Karolinska Institute stopped using puberty blockers for people under 18 because of the “potentially irreversible consequences” such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, infertility, increased cancer risk, and thrombosis.
Accordingly, citing a lack of “conclusive evidence,” as well as “the potential for long-term, irreversible effects,” the Health Department recommended the following:
- Social gender transition should not be a treatment option for children or adolescents
- Anyone under 18 should not be prescribed puberty blockers or hormone therapy
- Gender reassignment surgery should not be a treatment option for children or adolescents
“Based on the currently available evidence, encouraging mastectomy, ovariectomy, uterine extirpation, penile disablement, tracheal shave, the prescription of hormones which are out of line with the genetic make-up of the child, or puberty blockers, are all clinical practices which run an unacceptably high risk of doing harm,” the department maintained.
Instead, it added, “Children and adolescents should be provided social support by peers and family and seek counseling from a licensed provider.”