Florida’s Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine both approved a rule on Friday to prohibit minors in the state from receiving gender transition surgeries, puberty blockers, and hormone therapies, the first such ban initiated through state medical boards.

Under the new rule, people under 18 years old will be prohibited from receiving these treatments. The Board of Osteopathic Medicine passed an exception in its rule for those that are already enrolled in a Food and Drug Administration Institutional Review Board-approved clinical trial at an affiliated university center, while the Board of Medicine did not.


Board attorney Ed Tellechea said that the two boards have never before had inconsistent rules, concluding that medical doctors will follow different rules than osteopathic doctors. Over a dozen people spoke after the vote in favor and against the rule.

The Board of Medicine first began the process of drafting the rule in August following a request from state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo to devise rules to block medical professionals from providing such treatments for youth.

Last week, members of Florida’s Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine Joint Rules/Legislative Committee recommended the rule during a meeting last week after hearing from members of the public testifying for and against it.

The rule is the latest move under Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s administration regarding transgender issues. Earlier this year, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, which runs the state Medicaid program, finalized a ruling barring the medical assistance program for low-income people from covering similar treatments, including puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and gender transition surgery.

DeSantis also signed a bill earlier this year that bans public school teachers from providing instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in grades kindergarten through third grade.

Other states have passed or introduced measures to prohibit gender transition treatments for minors, including puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and gender transition surgery, including Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, and Arizona.

Earlier this year, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed legislation that would make it a felony for medical professionals to provide transition-related care to people under 19, including puberty blockers, drugs that are used to delay puberty in adolescents. A federal judge has since blocked portions of the bill from taking effect.

The Biden administration has opposed what it calls “discriminatory legislative attacks against LGBTQI+ children and families,” with the Department of Health and Human Services coming out in support of “gender-affirming care” for people of all ages. HHS Assistant Secretary Rachel Levine, the first transgender federal official confirmed by the Senate, said the Florida medical boards actions were “unprecedented.”


“This is the first time I have seen a medical board weaponized against medical providers that are providing evidence-based, standard of care treatment,” Levine said this week, according to STAT News.

Medical organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association, have also come out against efforts to restrict access to these types of treatments.

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