By Lydia Nusbaum
July 26, 2022 Updated 9:18 A.M. ET
TAMPA (FLV) – Gov. Ron DeSantis called “gender affirming care” a euphemism for castration and sterilization in a Fox News interview.
“They will actually take a young boy and castrate the boy. They will take a young girl and do a mastectomy or they will sterilize her because of the gender dysphoria,” DeSantis said. “This is wrong. Minors should not be having this type of stuff performed on them.”
His comments come days after United States Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine wrote an op-ed in the Miami Herald claiming there is support in Florida for “gender affirming care” for minors.
“Anyone looking to understand trans experiences will find many more stories of happiness after a successful transition than they will of second thoughts or ongoing regret,” Levine said in the op-ed.
The Biden Administration had previously released a “fact sheet” saying some minors can receive “top” and “bottom” surgeries.
“We believe that this is not appropriate in the state of Florida. We don’t think a doctor should get a license if they’re doing it,” DeSantis said. “And I think these doctors should be able to be sued by these folks when they develop problems later in life.”
The Biden Administration’s “fact sheet” prompted the Florida Dept. of Health to release its own guidance against the gender transition of minors.
“There is no evidence that this is something that’s effective medical care,” DeSantis said. “And we know that people that do this when their kids have huge problems going on.”
The state proposed a rule earlier this month to prohibit Medicaid reimbursements for treatments including puberty blockers and sex reassignment surgeries. The proposal occurred after Florida Medicaid released a report that said research supporting sex reassignment treatment is “insufficient to demonstrate efficacy and safety.”
The Secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration had requested Florida Medicaid program review to determine whether certain gender dysphoria treatments including sex reassignment surgery, cross-sex hormones, and puberty blockers are consistent with widely accepted professional medical standards.
The proposed rule changes does not ban treatments for gender dysphoria. There are other comprehensive coverage of services for gender dysphoria including psychiatric services.
Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo has since shared stories from people who spoke in support of the rule prohibiting Medicaid reimbursements for gender affirming surgeries.
Chloe Cole, who once identified as transgender and underwent surgery to affirm that identity, said she did not understand the ramifications of the medical decision she was making at the time. Cole medically transitioned from ages 13 to 16.
“I don’t know if I’ll be able to fully carry a child and I might be at increased risk for certain cancers,” Cole said. “Because I do not have my breasts, I don’t have breasts, I’m not able to breastfeed whatever future children I have.”
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