FL House panel to consider medical ban for procedures related to transgender youth

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LGBTQ Pride run. U. S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caleb Worpel

Doctors who perform certain medical procedures on transgender youth could be sent to prison under a bill that will be heard by a House committee on Monday.

The House Health Quality subcommittee will review legislation (HB 1365) that would make it a second-degree felony for medical providers to perform operations or administer hormone therapy to help minors change their gender. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Anthony Sabatini, a Lake County Republican.

“No parent should be allowed to sterilize or permanently disfigure a child,” Sabatini tweeted when he filed his bill, which is called the “Vulnerable Child Protection Act.”

But LGBTQ advocates have labeled the bill as the “most offensive and direct attack” on gay rights in the 2020 legislative session. Advocates warn if the medical ban is enacted it could trigger suicides among transgender youth who are denied medical procedures related to a gender transition.

Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, an openly gay Democrat from Orlando, called measure “an ugly bill that criminalizes doctors for providing life-saving healthcare treatment to transgender youth.”

“I am so angry and disappointed that this is the direction GOP House leadership wants to take our state,” Smith tweeted.

The Florida Phoenix previously reported on the bill as well as other legislation that advocates say could undermine civil rights and protections for LGBTQ residents in Florida.

Sen. Dennis Baxley, a Marion County Republican, has filed legislation (SB 1864) that would also ban medical procedures related to gender change for transgender youth. But the bill has yet to be scheduled for a committee hearing.