Senate passes bill banning gender-affirming care for minors and limiting it for adults

'You might not know it, but you have not just gay people who live in your district, but I'm sure you probably have some transgender men and women who live in your district also.'

Florida is one step closer to establishing a permanent ban on gender-affirming care for minors and placing hurdles in the way for adults who want the care.

The Senate voted 27-12 to advance a bill (SB 254) that would codify rules passed by the state’s two medical boards to ban the procedures for minors. The bill would also codify a Medicaid rule banning reimbursement for the procedures for people of all ages.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo have spearheaded the changes. SB 254 heads next to the House, which has been moving its own version of the ban (HB 1421).

The House and Senate bills are similar, but not identical. The House bill would ban private, commercial insurance policies from reimbursing gender-affirming care procedures. The Senate bill does not. 

Additionally, the House bill would allow minors who currently are being treated for gender-affirming care to continue to take puberty blockers through the end of the year only. The Senate bill would require the Florida medical boards to develop rules that set the standards for minor patients who currently are being treated with puberty blockers.

Meanwhile, SB 254 would ban gender-affirming care immediately upon becoming law for minors not currently being treated and makes it a third-degree felony for doctors who violate the law.

The bill would also bar any state funds from being used to provide gender-affirming or gender-conforming care. Gov. DeSantis had already amended Florida’s Medicaid rules to ban Medicaid from covering the care, a move which is being challenged in federal court. But the bill would go further, banning the state group health insurance plan and state universities from reimbursing for the costs of care as well, regardless of a person’s age.

By requiring adult patients seeking gender-affirming care to sign informed consent forms in the same room as their treating physicians, the bill would make it impossible for transgender adults to receive services through telehealth.

A number of Democrats spoke against the bill Tuesday before the chamber voted to pass it.

Sen. Lori Berman, a Boynton Beach Democrat, said the bill contradicts DeSantis’s oft-used claim that Florida is a “free state.”

“I would say free states don’t ban health care,” Berman said, noting that national medical associations have endorsed gender-affirming care for minors. “This bill is wrong on the way it attacks transgender adults, wrong on the way it attacks parents’ rights to raise their children, and wrong on how it puts medical professionals at risk.”

Sen. Shevrin Jones said lawmakers should represent all the people in their districts, not just the ones who look and act like they do.

“Which leads me to make it clear to this entire body that although you might not know it, you have not just gay people who live in your district, but I’m sure you probably have some transgender men and women who live in your district also,” he said.

“When we take that oath of office, we don’t take the oath of office and say, ‘I’m going to go support the people who look like me, act like me and do like I do.’ We take the oath of office to say we are going to support. and we will protect. all people.”

Meanwhile, to ensure that the ban on gender-affirming care is s being complied with, the legislation would require every licensed hospital and physician surgery office to sign attestation forms confirming they don’t provide gender-affirming care to minors and return the forms to the state by July 1, 2023.

The Agency for Health Care Administration would be required to revoke the licenses of hospitals that don’t comply with the law. Meanwhile, physician surgery offices that don’t comply with the requirement could lose their registrations.

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


  • Billy the Bamboozler McStrip Mall Squatter

    April 4, 2023 at 7:22 pm

    There will never be a Republican president from Florida for 40 years. Hope it was worth it. Mind you, there are ways to get around all these stupid laws so they’ve cut their own balls off for nothing with all these stupid laws.

  • Earl Pitts American

    April 4, 2023 at 7:24 pm

    Good evening America,
    I guess leftys feel OK with the words gender affirming. Which is actually child genetal mutalation. But I think leftys prefer one set of the above words over the other even though they mean the same thing.
    Y’all leftys going to #ell

    • SJC Berlusconi Billy the Bamboozler

      April 4, 2023 at 9:57 pm

      You’re going to hell you mfr.

    • Bruh?

      April 10, 2023 at 8:27 pm

      Children don’t go through genital mutilation or “bottom surgery” nobody does that in America. Educate yourself about what you hate so you can have reasonable opinions.

  • And limiting it for adults?

    April 4, 2023 at 11:10 pm

    I though DeSantis wanted to “Keep Florida Free?”
    Why are Conservatives sooooo obsessed with the private sex lives of other people? It’s weird.

  • Jon

    April 6, 2023 at 6:20 am

    Lol. This 304 equates freedom with degenerate hedonism.

  • Licensed Clinical Professional

    April 11, 2023 at 6:29 am

    Speak only concerning what you know something about. I would rather follow the opinion of medical and mental health professionals who work with people diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria than listen to the opinions of those whose only experience with what really takes place in the doctor’s office is the uninformed dumbed down sound bites they hear

Comments are closed.


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