Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this week called for lawsuits against doctors who perform transgender operations.
“They don’t tell you what that is—they are actually giving very young girls double mastectomies, they want to castrate these young boys,” DeSantis said at an event in Florida on Wednesday, referring to such procedures. “Both from the health and children wellbeing perspective, you don’t disfigure 10, 12, 13-year-old kids based on gender dysphoria, 80 percent of it resolves anyways by the time they get older. So why would you be doing this?”
“I think these doctors need to get sued for what’s happening,” DeSantis said in conclusion. He didn’t say whether his administration would be taking steps to make it easier for individuals to file lawsuits against the doctors.
Earlier this year, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo issued statewide public health guidelines to restrict certain treatments for children and adolescents. It came after the Biden administration promoted its own guidelines on “gender-affirming care,” including hormone drugs, puberty blocker drugs, surgeries, and social transitioning for kids.
And in a letter to the Florida Board of Medicine in June, the Republican governor’s administration called on physicians to stop performing medical procedures on children who are said to have gender dysphoria.
“Available medical literature provides insufficient evidence that sex reassignment through medical interventions is a safe and effective treatment for gender dysphoria,” the letter said, adding that the state “must do more to protect children from politics-based medicine.”
Gender Ideology in Schools
More than a week ago, 22 states filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration over a new rule that would threaten to withhold funding to schools for meal programs unless states comply with its policies around the teaching of gender identity and sexual orientation in class.
Republican attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana, and West Virginia have signed the lawsuit. The challenge was filed (pdf) against the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“The Biden administration’s sweeping rhetoric treats normal practices, such as sex-separated bathrooms and athletics, as ‘discriminatory’ even though DOJ [Justice Department] and the Department of Education treated those as legal, nondiscriminatory practices as recently as last year,” the suit stated.
In Congress, several Republican lawmakers in late June introduced a bill that allows individuals to sue doctors who performed gender transition surgery when they were minors. The measure allows a 30-year statute of limitation in most cases, prohibits federal health funds from going to states that force medical practitioners to perform transition procedures, and makes it clear that federal law cannot be construed to force practitioners to offer such procedures.
“Gender-transition procedures aren’t safe or appropriate for children,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), one of the lawmakers who co-sponsored the bill, said in a news release. “Unfortunately, radical doctors in the United States perform dangerous, experimental, and even sterilizing gender-transition procedures on young kids, who cannot even provide informed consent.”
Naveen Athrappully contributed to this report.