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Florida judge strikes down ban on gender-affirming care

(NewsNation) — A Florida judge has struck down key parts of a law that would have banned gender-affirming care for minors and created hurdles for transgender adults seeking care.

Judge Robert L. Hinkle said in his more than 100-page ruling that “gender identity is real” and recognized that many transgender people struggle with gender dysphoria, which is treated with gender-affirming care. He had previously issued a temporary ban on the law.

The Florida law would have banned doctors and nurses from prescribing or administering transition-related medication, including puberty blockers and hormones, to those under 18. Medical professionals who defied the law could have faced criminal penalties or loss of their medical license.

Hinkle also struck down a part of the law that would have required adults seeking transition-related care to see a medical professional in person rather than allowing telehealth appointments. The provision would have added hurdles to accessing care for a population that already struggles to find appropriate care and often faces medical discrimination.

Hinkle noted that the widely accepted standard of care for gender dysphoria includes appropriate evaluation and treatment by a multidisciplinary team, including mental health treatment and, in some cases, the use of puberty blockers and hormones.

He ruled the provisions unconstitutional, a win for advocates and parents who said the law infringed on their right to make medical decisions for their children.

Read the full ruling here: