Florida governor Ron DeSantis has asked the state’s medical board to ban gender-affirming care for trans individuals.
Over the last year-and-a-half, the Republican official has consistently attacked the LGBTQ+ community with harmful legislation.
During Pride Month in 2021, DeSantis banned transgender girls and women from competing in school sports.
His crusade against the LGBTQ+ community continued earlier this year when he signed the highly controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill into law.
The legislation, which is officially called the Parental Rights in Education bill, restricts “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”
On 2 June, the DeSantis administration shifted its focus to gender-affirming care for trans youth and trans adults on Medicaid.
In a letter obtained by NBC News on 2 June, the conservative governor’s surgeon general Joseph Ladapo asked the state’s medical board to ban medical care for trans youth.
“I recommend against certain pharmaceutical, non-pharmaceutical and surgical treatments for gender dysphoria,” Ladapo wrote.
The horrific letter also cited the state’s Department of Health and their transphobic guidance report from April – which condemned the social and medical transition of trans youth.
“I encourage the Board to review the Agency’s findings and the Department’s guidance to establish a standard of care for these complex and irreversible procedures,” he concluded.
Gov DeSantis’ administration is once again using Pride month to target LGBTQ people. This time, a crusade to deny Floridians their freedom to access health care. The Gov’s agencies have misrepresented findings & distorted data to advance a political agenda. (1/3) https://t.co/Jw5VhNh8Wd
— Equality Florida (@equalityfl) June 2, 2022
But the DeSantis administration and their campaign against trans rights haven’t stopped there.
Hours before the aforementioned letter was submitted, the Agency for Health Care Administration issued a 46-page report that called for the end of gender-affirming care for trans individuals on Medicaid.
In the extensive report, the organisation referred to out of date and debunked research to justify blocking coverage for treatments like puberty blockers, gender-reassignment surgery, hormone therapy and more.
Since both of the reports were made public, LGBTQ+ activists and organisations have slammed DeSantis and the state’s conservative officials.
“Gov DeSantis’ administration is once again using Pride Month to target LGBTQ people,” the group tweeted.
“This time, a crusade to deny Floridians their freedom to access health care. The Gov’s agencies have misrepresented findings & distorted data to advance a political agenda.”
The Human Rights Campaign echoed similar sentiments in their own statement.
“Gender-affirming care is lifesaving – that, unlike the material in this report, is a fact – and this medical care is neither experimental, nor new,” said Human Rights Campaign’s State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley.
“This controversy is entirely contrived for partisan political purposes, but will cause very real harm to the thousands of folks impacted.”
Let’s make this clear: access to gender-affirming, medically necessary care saves lives. Denying life-saving care is beyond dangerous. pic.twitter.com/1jA720Ylx8
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) June 2, 2022