CV NEWS FEED // A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked Florida’s new law that protects children from being subjected to cross-sex hormone treatments and puberty blockers for so-called “gender transitions.”
Judge Robert Hinkle said in his ruling that “gender identity is real,” and issued an injunction against Senate Bill 254. Hinkle is a Clinton appointee.
The ruling comes after the parents of three children sued Florida’s surgeon general. The parents argue that not allowing doctors to subject their children to mutilating surgeries and treatments violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The plaintiffs, who are parents to two 11-year-old girls and an eight-year-old boy, argued that Florida was unable to provide any rational reason for banning cross-sex drugs and puberty blockers. The suit calls the treatments “safe and effective medically necessary healthcare.” Hinkle’s ruling will allow doctors to continue prescribing puberty blockers to the three children.
Though the parents claim that these drugs are necessary for their children’s wellbeing and happiness, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning against the drugs last year. The FDA found that using these drugs on minors can lead to dangerous side effects such as brain swelling or loss of sight.
The FDA also discovered a possible link between puberty blockers and pseudotumor cerebri, a condition with symptoms similar to those caused by a brain tumor. This condition was found in six girls between the ages of five and 12 who were using the drugs. Symptoms included vision abnormalities, headaches, vomiting, elevated blood pressure, and abducens neuropathy. The cases were deemed clinically significant and pharmacies were advised to place warning labels on the drugs for minors.
“There are risks attendant to not using these treatments, including the risk––in some instances, the near certainty––of anxiety and depression and even suicidal ideation,” Hinkle stated in his ruling. “The challenged statute ignores the benefits that many patients realize from these treatments and the substantial risk posed by foregoing the treatments.”
Hinkle added that if the children are not prescribed these drugs, they will suffer “irreparable harm” caused by their bodies naturally maturing in their “sex assigned at birth.” Hinkle argued: “The treatment will affect the patients themselves, nobody else, and will cause the defendants no harm.”
Hinkle pointed out that cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers can also be used to treat minors with illnesses unrelated to “trans” medicine.
The ruling comes just a month after Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Bill 254 into law.