(DailyVantage.com) – According to a federal judge, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis repeatedly spreads misinformation about gender-affirming medical procedures and the doctors who offer transgender people healthcare. DeSantis regularly claims that doctors are performing unethical procedures that cause physical harm to children, despite the lack of documented incidents of said procedures. DeSantis’s claims resulted in national media attention and heavy federal scrutiny of Florida’s opposition to gender-affirming medical procedures for transgender children.
DeSantis’s push to ban medical treatment for transgender people also resulted in federal judge Robert Hinkle’s involvement in a civil suit brought against Florida by several families of transgender people. According to the parents of several transgender children, the ban on gender-affirming care violates their constitutional right to make medical treatment decisions for their children. DeSantis said he opposes gender-affirming care due to the potential danger to children. Hinkle claims that DeSantis’s claim of protecting children from unethical procedures is disingenuous and that DeSantis’s ban on transgender medical care is preventing people from receiving medical treatment.
The law giving rise to the families’ lawsuits is known as Senate Bill 254. The bill prevents children from receiving non-essential medical procedures with a physical impact on their bodies and imposes severe fines and criminal penalties on doctors who perform such procedures. Senate Bill 254 also limits which healthcare providers are allowed to provide treatments to transgender adults, preventing easy access to transgender health services throughout Florida.
Anyone caught violating Senate Bill 254 could end up spending time in prison, as violating the law can result in a third-degree felony. Those caught breaking the law’s provisions could spend five years in prison and lose their medical license. Despite DeSantis’s outspoken opposition to transgenderism, an attorney representing Florida echoed DeSantis’s claim that the law is meant to protect children. According to Florida attorney Mohammad Jazil, the law isn’t intended to target any individuals but rather to prevent harm to children seeking gender-affirming care.
Although Florida’s lawmakers overwhelmingly support Senate Bill 254, Hinkle instituted a temporary ban on the law, preventing it from becoming legally enforceable. Hinkle claims that the courts must examine the state’s motivation for supporting Senate Bill 254 and determine its constitutionality. Senate Bill 254 may end up legally binding, depending on the outcome of the lawsuit against Florida.
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