Florida parents file lawsuit against state transgender youth care ban

Friday, March 24, 2023
Florida parents file lawsuit against state transgender youth care ban
Florida surgeon general Joseph Ladapo speaks at a press conference where Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the expansion of a new, piloted substance abuse and recovery network to disrupt the opioid epidemic, at the Space Coast Health Foundation in Rockledge, Fla., Aug. 3, 2022.
ABCNews

Four Florida families filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court against Florida's Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, Board of Medicine, and Board of Osteopathic Medicine, over the state ban against gender-affirming care for transgender youth.

The ban prohibits puberty blockers, hormones, cross-hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgery for people under the age of 18. The restrictions on hormones and puberty blockers won't apply to young people already being prescribed those medications prior to when the law took effect, allowing previous patients to continue with treatment.

The families behind the lawsuit have transgender youth who would be impacted by the restriction.

The families say they fear for their children's mental and physical health as some studies have shown gender-affirming care has been found to improve mental health of transgender youth.

According to the press release regarding the suit, the Does are a military family who moved to Florida when John Doe was stationed there as a Senior Officer in the U.S. Navy. Jane Doe said she has concerns about her 11-year-old daughter receiving the care she needs.

"Like most parents, my husband and I want nothing more than for our daughter to be healthy, happy, and safe," said Jane Doe, concerning her 11-year-old daughter, in the release. "Being able to consult with our team of doctors to understand what our daughter is experiencing and make the best, most informed decisions about her care has been critically important for our family."

She continued, "This ban takes away our right to provide her with the next step in her recommended treatment when she reaches puberty."

Another family, called the Boes for anonymity, are also challenging the ban on behalf of their 14-year-old son.

"This ban puts me and other Florida parents in the nightmare position of not being able to help our child when they need us most," said Brenda Boe. "My son has a right to receive appropriate, evidence-based medical care ... That has been ripped away by this cruel and discriminatory rule."

Gender-affirming care has been targeted across the country - with at least eight states with policies or laws that restrict it.

However, major national medical associations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and over 20 more agree that gender-affirming care is safe, effective, beneficial, and medically necessary for transgender people.

In an email from the Department of Health to ABC News, a spokesperson responded with a gif of Gov. Ron DeSantis that stated "If you want to waste your time on a stunt, that's fine. But I'm not wasting my time on your stunt."

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