Florida Health Department pushes back against Biden's child gender dysphoria guide
"It was about injecting political ideology into the health of our children," Florida's surgeon general said.
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The Florida Department of Public Health on Wednesday criticized the Biden administration's handout on "gender-affirming care" for children and adolescents.
"The federal government's medical establishment releasing guidance failing at the most basic level of academic rigor shows that this was never about health care," state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo said in a press release.
Biden's Health and Human Services on Tuesday tweeted a fact sheet that said, "Gender-affirming care is a supportive form of healthcare. It consists of an array of services that may include medical, surgical, mental health, and non-medical services for transgender and nonbinary people."
This includes sex-change operations and hormone therapy.
The federal department called gender treatments "crucial to overall health" and said, "Research demonstrates that gender-affirming care improves the mental health and overall well-being of gender diverse children and adolescents."
The Florida health agency responded by criticizing research in support of gender dysphoria treatment.
Reviews of pediatric hormone treatment shows "a trend of low-quality evidence, small sample sizes, and medium to high risk of bias," the department said.
The agency also cited a paper showing that 80% of people with childhood gender dysphoria lose their desire to transition sexes.
Biden's HHS admitted that while social transitioning and use of puberty blockers are physically reversible, hormone therapy is "[p]artially reversible" and sex change surgeries are "[n]ot reversible."
The Florida Department of Public Health issued guidelines in response to HHS:
- "Social gender transition should not be a treatment option for children or adolescents.
- Anyone under 18 should not be prescribed puberty blockers or hormone therapy.
- Gender reassignment surgery should not be a treatment option for children or adolescents.
- Based on the currently available evidence, 'encouraging mastectomy, ovariectomy, uterine extirpation, penile disablement, tracheal shave, the prescription of hormones which are out of line with the genetic make-up of the child, or puberty blockers, are all clinical practices which run an unacceptably high risk of doing harm.'
- Children and adolescents should be provided social support by peers and family and seek counseling from a licensed provider."
The Florida department said that the guidelines are "consistent" with those from the federal government on surgical age requirements, as well as with those from Sweden, Finland, the U.K. and France.
"It was about injecting political ideology into the health of our children. Children experiencing gender dysphoria should be supported by family and seek counseling, not pushed into an irreversible decision before they reach 18," Ladapo said.
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) has stood against the federal government on LGBT issues involving children. Last month, he signed "Parental Rights in Education" into law, prohibiting kindergarten to third grade teachers from instructing students about "sexual orientation" or "gender identity" in class.
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