The Florida State Senate approved a bill Tuesday banning minors from having “gender reassignment” surgery, hormone therapy, or puberty blockers.
The bill, passed in a 27-12 vote, must be approved by the Florida House and GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis to become law; a similar law proposed by GOP State Rep. Randy Fine is headed for a vote in the state House.
“We have a responsibility to all of the children of Florida not to allow this to happen in our state,” state Sen. Clay Yarborough (R-Jacksonville) the bill’s sponsor, told the Senate. “A decision of this magnitude absolutely cannot be made by a child in mental distress. This bill will allow children to be children.”
“This bill is even more important to the children that are led down the path and told that the only option for curing mental health issues is gender affirming treatments and surgeries, which causes permanent disfigurement, and may eliminate the ability to have children by subjecting their bodies to devastating long term damage,” he added.
Yarborough noted that the bill amends Florida’s child custody laws in order to “protect the rights of parents” and “ensure a pathway for a parent to petition the court if the other parent attempts to subject their child to a sex reassignment prescription or procedure.”
On Monday, the Florida Senate passed a bill to ban abortions after six weeks, which is supported by DeSantis. Exceptions would be made if the life of the mother is in danger or a pregnancy was caused by rape or incest until 15 weeks of pregnancy, although the woman would have to provide documentation detailing the situation, like a medical record, restraining order, or police report.
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House Speaker Paul Renner noted in late March that DeSantis’ policy proposals would be successfully implemented, saying, “We have a lot of the governor’s priorities in a really good spot. We’ll pass them … We’re moving quickly … Some of what the governor has proposed is monumental and good, and we support it 100%.”
DeSantis said of the Florida legislature, “They are mindful that it’s probably better not to have kind of an eight-car pileup the last week of session where the whole agenda gets through in the last 72 hours. I think you’re going to see more earlier.”