The bill, Florida S.B. 254 , will severely restrict gender-affirming care for adults and make a Florida Board of Medicine ban on gender-affirming care for minors permanent law.
TALLAHASSEE — Today, the Florida Senate and House passed S.B. 254, a measure that bans medically-necessary forms of gender-affirming care for minors and imposes severe restrictions for adults. Gender-affirming care — which includes a range of health services from counseling to medical therapies — is supported by leading medical and child development organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. But lawmakers across the country are waging a relentless attack on transgender and gender nonconforming people.
So far in 2023, state lawmakers have introduced more than 100 bills to stop people from having access to the gender-affirming care they need, with nearly all focused on banning care for minors. Twelve states — Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, North Dakota, and West Virginia — have enacted bans this year to prevent minors from getting essential care.
Of these legislative bans, the one passed today in Florida stands alone in including extreme limitations on adults receiving care, as well. S.B. 254 bans all forms of public funding going towards gender affirming care; prevents qualified, licensed professionals like physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners from providing this care; restricts the use of telehealth for prescribing gender affirming medications; and creates onerous informed consent requirements. In practice, this bill will cause extreme harm to minors in Florida by making it illegal for providers to prescribe them puberty blockers or hormone therapy in the state. The ban will also make it exceedingly difficult for adults to get the medications they need in Florida, even those who may have been on hormone therapy for decades.
Earlier this year, the Florida Board of Medicine issued regulations that ban health care providers from offering gender-affirming services to minor patients. The impending ban codifies the March 2023 Florida Board of Medicine regulation and adds civil and criminal penalties for providers who violate the ban.
Transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people deserve access to a full range of quality health care and to be treated with dignity and respect. Banning gender-affirming care displays a fundamental lack of understanding of best medical practice, including age-appropriate services.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“Banning gender-affirming care takes away the freedom of transgender and gender nonconforming people to live the lives they deserve. We know that it is time-tested, and we know that it is lifesaving. Yet politicians continue to disregard the real needs of their constituents and instead codify hatred. This is about controlling trans people’s bodies and lives. With this ban, Florida lawmakers are continuing their race to the bottom for LGBTQ+ rights and gender equality. The fight for reproductive freedom includes fighting for transgender and nonbinary people’s freedom to exist without fear. Planned Parenthood Action Fund and our partners will not stand by as our transgender and gender nonconforming siblings are attacked on all fronts.”
Statement from Laura Goodhue, executive director, Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates:
“By passing this bill, Florida politicians are putting the lives and well-being of transgender and gender-nonconforming people, especially youth, in danger. They are denying Floridians not just the freedom to access care and decide what is best for their bodies and lives, but the ability to exist freely in our state. At a time when Floridians are worried about how they can afford to put a roof over their heads and keep their children safe from gun violence, politicians like Ron DeSantis are choosing instead to fearmonger and discriminate. Medical decisions should be between a patient and their health care providers — not politicians. The Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates stands with our partners in the LGBTQ+ community and will not stop fighting for their right to decide what is best for their own bodies and lives.”
Statement from Stephanie Fraim, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida:
“This ban on gender-affirming care is part of a deeply disturbing pattern of political attacks against transgender and gender nonconforming people in the state of Florida. This ban will deny Floridians the freedom to decide what is best for their own bodies and parents the ability to get the best care for their children. This bill is bigotry masquerading as public policy, and it is shameful. It’s no surprise that many of the same politicians attacking access to abortion are pushing this anti-transgender legislation. They are determined to control Floridians’ bodies, no matter the harm. Gender-affirming care is essential, safe, and lifesaving. Florida’s Planned Parenthood affiliates will do everything we can to ensure access for people seeking health care and fight back against this cruel ban.”
Statement from Alexandra Mandado, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida:
“This attack on transgender and gender nonconforming Floridians is out-of-touch and discriminatory. It has no basis in research and defies evidence-based health care practices. Patients, their families, and their health care providers know what is best for them and their bodies, and they should be the ones who decide on their care — not politicians — should decide the best care for each patient based on current leading medical practices. Planned Parenthood health centers remain committed to providing life-affirming care to all Floridians, regardless of their gender identity or expression.”
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy, and limited electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.
The Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates is the nonpartisan advocacy and political organization representing Florida’s two Planned Parenthood affiliates. The Alliance engages in educational and electoral activity, including legislative advocacy, voter education, and grassroots organizing to promote the Planned Parenthood mission.
For over 50 years, building healthy communities has been Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida’s mission. Our health care services include lifesaving cancer screenings, breast health care, well-person exams, contraceptive services, sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment, transgender care and abortion services. Over 90% of the services we offer are preventive and help individuals, families, and communities stay healthy. Visit our website at www.ppsenfl.org.
Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida provides expert, affordable, and confidential health care to 38,000 patients through nine physical locations in Fort Myers, Kissimmee, Lakeland, Naples, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, and Tampa, as well as through telehealth. With or without insurance, patients can always find health care at PPSWCF including cancer screenings, breast health and mammogram referrals, well-person exams, birth control/IUDs, free condoms, pregnancy testing and ultrasounds, pregnancy options counseling, emergency contraception, miscarriage care, abortion care, HIV, UTI and STD testing and treatment, Gardasil (HPV vaccination), menopause care, gender-affirming care, and more. Go to www.myplannedparenthood.org for further information or call (941) 365-3913.