Bill would stop treatment for transgender children

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A proposed Florida House Bill could ban gender-affirming care for transgender minors.

Sponsored by Republican Representatives Dr. Ralph Massullo and Randy Fine, House Bill 1421 seeks to ban hormone therapies and surgical procedures for children under 18 and require minors who are already receiving gender-affirming treatments to end their care by the end of the year.

The bill would also criminalize doctors who choose to violate the law. They could be charged with a third-degree felony.

Bill sponsor Fine shared his opinion on the matter during a recent committee hearing.

“This is not care. This is an abomination,” Fine said. “It is not health care to cut someone’s body parts off.”

In February, the Florida Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine voted on and passed a rule that banned gender-affirming care for children and teenagers. However, it was unclear whether this law would affect existing patients who were currently undergoing treatment. Now, through legislative action, HB 1421 would make it so that treatment for both new and existing minors must cease by Dec. 31.

Hanna Triplett, a Florida A&M University alumnus, described the bill as both unjust and inhumane.

“I think it’s unfair that certain individuals can have a say in what a person does with a body that doesn’t belong to them. This situation is no different from the abortion bans that are taking place all over the country,” Triplett said. “To make children stop receiving treatment even if they’ve already began is pretty cruel.”

Triplett is not the only person to react negatively to the proposed legislation. Following the Florida House Health and Human Services Committee’s vote to approve HB 1421, an opponent of the bill explained what they believe is the true motive behind this proposal.

“Let’s be honest,” the opponent said. “This bill is not about protecting children. It is just another piece of a nationally coordinated effort to erase trans people from society because we do not fit into your narrow, religiously motivated worldview.”

HB 1421 would also ban insurers from covering gender-affirming care for adults, stop prisoners from receiving transgender care with money from taxpayers, and prohibit individuals from changing their biological sex on a birth certificate.

Because the bill was voted favorable by both the Florida Health and Human Services Committee and the Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee, it has now been referred to the House calendar and added to the second reading calendar.