Gender reassignment surgery is a treatment not generally offered to children.
These guidelines do not apply to children “born with a genetically or biochemically verifiable disorder of sex development (DSD),” the department said. And despite its stance on gender-affirming care, the department encouraged “social support by peers and family” as well as counseling from a licensed provider.
Gender-affirming care is a supportive form of healthcare that consists of “medical, surgical, mental health, and non-medical services for transgender and nonbinary people,” according to HHS.
The state health department, led by Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, said its guidance was issued to “clarify evidence” contained in the federal government’s fact sheet. The agency went on to highlight a “lack of conclusive evidence, and the potential for long-term, irreversible effects” as driving factors for issuing the guidelines.
The ACLU called the state health department’s move “a desperate effort to sow lies and fear about transgender youth, their parents, and their health care,” in a Wednesday Twitter post. “Trans youth know who they are. We’re ready to do everything in our power to defend the fundamental rights of trans youth and their families.”
“The Florida Department of Health’s guidance is in direct opposition to the best practices of every major medical organization in the country. The demonization of life-saving, medically-necessary healthcare for transgender youth is dangerous and wrong,” the ACLU tweeted Wednesday.