Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law Wednesday banning gender-transition surgeries and medications for children.
"You have a movement amongst, I would say, rogue elements of the medical establishment, to do things that is basically the mutilation of minors," DeSantis said, calling the banned procedures "irreversible."
The measure passed the state House 83-28 and the state Senate 26-13 before it reached DeSantis' desk, according to Florida’s Voice.
State Sen. Clay Yarborough, a Republican who sponsored the bill in the upper chamber, thanked the governor for his leadership on the issue.
"As a dad of young children myself, I know you understand how important it is for parents to know what is going on with their children," Yarborough said, according to Florida’s Voice.
State Reps. Randy Fine and Ralph Massullo, both Republicans, sponsored the House version of the bill.
"The fight that we have had here in Florida is about the fundamental nature of childhood itself," Fine said, according to Florida’s Voice.
Puberty blockers and hormones, which some doctors have used to treat gender dysphoria, are prohibited under the law. The Florida Board of Medicine has 60 days to draft emergency rules on whether minors already receiving such medications may continue using them.
During a joint meeting last year, the Florida Board of Medicine and Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine approved rules banning gender reassignment treatments for children.
State funds are prohibited from being used for these treatments and DeSantis said the law also gives Florida courts temporary jurisdiction to intervene and stop procedures for out-of-state children.
"You have actually some states in this country that want to be a haven for these types of procedures, and even welcome minors without their parents' consent," DeSantis said. "We're obviously doing the opposite here."
The legislation also creates a pathway for people to collect damages if injury or death occurred while undergoing gender-transition care as minors.
Democrat state Rep. Anna Eskamani said "sensational language" has been used to describe these gender-transition treatments.
"These are your neighbors, your friends, loved ones, your co-workers," she said, according to Florida’s Voice. "They just want to be their authentic selves and access the health care they need to do so."
She added that residents are moving out of the state to access "essential" medical care they can't get in Florida.
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