Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday said doctors who perform transgender surgeries on minors should face lawsuits as a means to end the practice.
DeSantis’ administration has been a national leader in opposing transgender treatments for children and teens. Earlier this year, his administration announced a plan to prohibit Medicaid funding for puberty-blocking medication and hormones if it involves a minor. His administration also wants to prohibit such treatments outright, even if it doesn’t involve Medicaid.
His Wednesday comments came at a news conference where he announced a new opioid recovery program in the state.
He applauded the work of Shevaun Harris – the secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families – on the transgender issue.
Referencing the medical community, DeSantis said, “One of the things that they’re trying to do is they talk about these very young kids getting gender-affirming care, but they don’t tell you what that is.”
“They’re actually giving very young girls double mastectomies. They want to castrate these young boys. That’s wrong,” he said. “And so we’ve stood up and said, both from the health and children wellbeing perspective, you don’t disfigure 10-, 12-, 13-year-old-kids, based on gender dysphoria. Eighty percent of it resolves anyways, by the time they get older, so why would you be doing this?
#BREAKING: Gov. Ron DeSantis calls for doctors to be sued for providing children suffering from gender dysphoria double mastectomies and castrations
“They wanna castrate these young boys – that’s wrong … I think these doctors need to get sued for what’s happening.” pic.twitter.com/aKwsHIlzXF
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) August 3, 2022
“I think these doctors need to get sued for what’s happening,” he said to applause.
A 17-year-old girl who formerly identified as a transgender boy testified in favor of DeSantis’ Medicaid proposal this summer. The teen girl, named Chloe Cole, said doctors allowed her to have a mastectomy she now regrets. She began transitioning at age 13.
“I really didn’t understand all of the ramifications of any of the medical decisions that I was making,” she said. “… I was unknowingly physically cutting off my true self from my body, irreversibly and painfully.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Joe Raedle/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.