Federal judge to weigh temporary disruption of transgender health regulations, law

Gov. Ron DeSantis it has pincers transgender assistance by using its administrative clout to block minors from accessing it, preventing state dollars from being used to pay them, and using its influence with lawmakers to codify high-profile rules into law.

These changes, which have been roundly criticized as cruel and discriminatory by transgender advocates, will have a key moment in court on Friday.

United States District Judge Robert Hinkle is scheduled to hold a hearing in a lawsuit challenging rules adopted by medical boards at the insistence of the DeSantis administration, as well as the new law (SB 254) that bars minors from receiving gender-affirming care.

DeSantis signed the bill into law Wednesday in a signing ceremony held at a Christian school in the Tampa Bay area.

Florida is proud to lead the way in advocacy for our children, the Governor said. As the world goes mad, Florida represents a haven of sanity and a citadel of normalcy.

The lawsuit was first filed in March, but this week attorneys for the sued groups changed it to include a challenge against the new law that was enacted this week by DeSantis. The group previously sought a preliminary injunction to block the rules, but now they also want Hinkle to issue a temporary restraining order to also block the law from taking effect.

The challenge was presented by three Florida parents and their transgender children: Jane Doe and her daughter Susan Doe; Gloria Goe and her son Gavin Goe; and Linda Loe and her daughter Lisa Loe who argue that the bans violate parents’ rights to make medical decisions for their children and deny them equal protection under the law.

The request for a TRO in that challenge, Doe versus Ladapo, comes as Hinkle is also weighing the legal merits of a Health Care Administration Agency (AHCA) rule that bars state Medicaid dollars from being spent on transgender health care services for minors and adults. The dress, Decker versus Weidaargues that the rule violates a federal Medicaid rule that requires children to be provided access to medically necessary care.

It’s incredibly false. They’ve pushed all of this through the regulatory process, which has far less scrutiny, and it’s all been done by political appointees rather than elected officials who the public can vote off-site,” he said. Simone Criss, Director of the Transgender Rights Initiative for Southern Legal Counsel. They built this record through the back channel regulatory process and are now trying to rely on that record to justify what was just enacted yesterday. It was so strategic and planned and really insidious how they went about it. And what Florida has done is different than how they have created these bans in any other state.”

Medical organizations and associations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, THE AAmerican Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,The American Medical Association and the Endocrine Society advocate for minors to have access to gender-affirming care.

Chriss noted that former Rep.Antonio Sabantini filed transgender assistance bills in Sessions 2020, 2021, and 2022. They have never been heard in committee.

But the state surgeon general and the secretary of the department of health Joseph Ladapo last summer he said treatments, such as puberty blockers and hormones, or gender-conforming surgeries, such as mastectomies, should be banned for minors.

Soon after, Florida Medicaid Director Tom Wallaceissued a report considering the experimental cureand, as such, not covered by Medicaid. To reach this conclusion, Wallace relied on the same data that Ladapo included in his recommendation.

Ladapo then petitioned the Florida Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine to change their rules to make it a violation for doctors to provide minors with access to health care. The boards, which had been working to increase regulation of Brazilian lifts, abandoned their work on those rules to work at Ladapos’ request.

DeSantis had to replace some members with new ones, but the boards eventually agreed to change their rules.

He found an alternate route. And that alternate path allowed him to put into place people who were carefully selected to achieve this particular result banning the coverage and delivery of gender-affirming care,” Chriss said. And I think other states that may not be able to do this through the traditional legislative process are taking note of what the state of Florida has done here, and honestly that’s what scares me the most. Transgender children need and deserve access to medically necessary evidence-based health care in our state and everyone else’s.”

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