Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis’ administration is fighting back hard against transgender surgery for minors, as both his Department of Health and the Florida agency responsible for Medicaid are condemning the practice.
Florida Surgeon General Joseph A. Ladapo joined Tom Wallace, the deputy secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration, to slam the surgery for minors.
“Florida must do more to protect children from politics-based medicine. Otherwise, children and adolescents in our state will continue to face a substantial risk of long-term harm,” Ladapo wrote Thursday to the Florida Board of Medicine.
“While some professional organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Endocrine Society, recommend these treatments for ‘gender affirming’ care, the scientific evidence supporting these complex medical interventions is extraordinarily weak,” he added.
“Following a review of available literature, clinical guidelines, and coverage by other insurers and nations, Florida Medicaid has determined that the research supporting sex reassignment treatment is insufficient to demonstrate efficacy and safety,” Wallace writes in his 46-page report. “In addition, numerous studies, including the reports provided by the clinical and technical experts listed above, identify poor methods and the certainty of irreversible physical changes.”
“Considering the weak evidence supporting the use of puberty suppression, cross-sex hormones, and surgical procedures when compared to the stronger research demonstrating the permanent effects they cause, these treatments do not conform to GAPMS and are experimental and investigational,” he continued.
“In April, Ladapo issued guidance recommending against transgender treatments for minors who feel their bodies and their gender identities are misaligned,” NBC News reported, adding, “DeSantis’ administration notes that Sweden and Finland, which were among the first countries to engage in prescribing a broad range of transition-related care for transgender children, have severely curtailed their use now.”
“In 2022, the Swedish National Board of Health stated that ‘the risks of hormonal interventions for gender dysphoric youth outweigh the potential benefits,’” the Wallace report notes. “In Finland, the Palveluvalikoima issued guidelines in 2020 stating that sex reassignment in minors ‘is an experimental practice’ and that ‘no irreversible treatment should be initiated.’”
“The available medical literature provides insufficient evidence that sex realignment through medical intervention is a safe and effective treatment for gender dysphoria,” the Wallace report states.
After listing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex reassignment surgery, the Wallace report concludes:
While clinical organizations like the AAP endorse the above treatments, none of those organizations rely on high-quality evidence. Their eminence in the medical community alone does not validate their views in the absence of quality, supporting evidence. To the contrary, the evidence shows that the above treatments pose irreversible consequences, exacerbate or fail to alleviate existing mental health conditions, and cause infertility or sterility.