Lawyers push to make transgender care court challenge a class-action lawsuit
by Lily Fineout

DeSantis transrights
'Restrictions on well-established medical care cause profound harm, serve no legitimate purpose, and reflect gross legislative overreach.'

Those suing over Florida’s ban on gender-affirming care for minors want to expand the lawsuit to address restrictions on care against adults and widen the legal challenge into a class-action lawsuit.

The amended complaint adds four adults who say they are facing disruptions in their medical care due to SB 254, the new law dealing with gender-affirming care that was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Some of the other parts of the law, as well as Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine rules that are being challenged, include a ban on advanced practice registered nurses from treating patients. The law also bans physicians and patients from using telehealth, requiring in-person consultation for all care.

“SB 254’s restrictions on well-established medical care cause profound harm, serve no legitimate purpose, and reflect gross legislative overreach,” said the plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit. “SB 254 takes away Floridian’s ability to make important decisions about their own lives and hands it over to the government instead. That should alarm us all.”

A federal judge in June blocked part of the law that dealt with gender-affirming care for minors, including a ban on the use of puberty blockers. The decision by U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle applied only to three minors whose parents are part of the lawsuit, but state officials have appealed the preliminary injunction decision to the 11th District Court of Appeal in Atlanta.

The overall legal battle will continue to move forward even as that ruling is being reviewed.

A filing from last week shows both sides are looking at a two-day trial that would start on Oct. 30 of this year — which would move up the timing of the lawsuit from what was previously under consideration.

The plaintiffs argued in the scheduling filing that “an earlier trial is warranted … given the ongoing serious harm being caused to transgender persons in Florida by the challenged provisions’ barriers to obtaining necessary medical care.”

One issue that must be resolved is a dispute over discovery. The filing given to the court says lawyers representing the state want to depose each of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit for up to three hours over Zoom.

The lawyers representing those involved in the challenge object to deposing any of the minors in the lawsuit. They say the state’s attorneys should be allowed to depose two parents of the minors and two of the four new adults being added to the lawsuit.

DeSantis used his broad administrative powers last year to crack down on gender-affirming and gender-conforming care, starting first with a rule that banned Medicaid from covering the care (which was subsequently successfully challenged). The Governor then pressed the state’s two medical boards to pass rules that prevented physicians from providing the care to minors.

The Legislature then followed suit by passing SB 254, which went further, precluding ARNPs from providing the health care, requiring patients to sign informed consent forms and banning the use of telehealth.

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.


  • PeterH

    July 24, 2023 at 10:55 am

    Facts first:
    Ron DeSantis is not a psychiatrist, doctor or epidemiologist! As such he should have absolutely no input on women’s healthcare decisions, parent-doctor-psychiatrist- transgender child decisions on healthcare or COVID prevention or COVID policies.

    DeSantis is I’ll equipped to offer any opinion on health care protocols.

  • Dr Rhonda

    July 24, 2023 at 10:57 am

    Rhonda is not a doctor, but he plays one in Florida, and now Iowa too.

  • Qristian

    July 25, 2023 at 4:51 pm

    There is no area a Christian considers beyond their expertise.

    Pompous and out of control.

Comments are closed.


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