Update: Comment period on Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine trans youth care ban is extended to December 28

The comment period for the Florida Board of Medicine’s proposed ban on gender-affirming medical care for trans youth, Rule 64B8-9.019 (“Standards of Practice for the Treatment of Gender Dysphoria in Minors”), was closed on December 5, 2022. However, because of an error in the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine’s public notice on their version of the ban, Rule 64B15-14.014, the comment period on this board’s version of the ban has now been extended until December 28 (WUSF Public Media):

The board originally listed the wrong email address for executive director Danielle Terrell, the person to contact with comments. The address was listed with a “.com” ending instead of “.gov.”

Lawyers with Southern Legal Counsel, which opposes the ban, say they pointed out the error and requested an extension. The board obliged, posting a correction on Dec. 7 and giving the public an additional 21 days to share feedback about the proposal, to Dec. 28.

The corrected notice from December 7 (26611967) states:

All interested persons and those who previously submitted comments or a request for hearing to the email address from the November 14, 2022, notice may submit comments or a request for hearing within 21 days of the date of the publication of this notice to the address set forth below.

The email address now reads:

THE PERSON TO BE CONTACTED REGARDING THE PROPOSED RULE IS: Danielle Terrell, Executive Director, Board of Osteopathic Medicine/MQA, 4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin #C06, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3256, or by email at Danielle.Terrell@flhealth.gov

Equality Florida also has a form to submit your complaints to the Board of Osteopathic Medicine (BoOM). Additionally, at least one other group, Southern Legal Counsel, is confirmed to have called for hearings on both proposed rules (Florida Phoenix, December 9):

“The boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine have pushed forward with a politically-motivated rule-making process to restrict access to gender-affirming care despite the overwhelming weight of the evidence and Florida medical providers with expertise in this area making clear that this will harm transgender children in the state of Florida,” Chriss said.

“I requested public hearings on both proposed rules, as permitted by Florida statute, and we await the notice of public hearing announcing the date, time, and location of these hearings.”

Gender Analysis has also resubmitted our first complaint to the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine – and we still have more to say. We are continuing to gather information in the following areas for our next complaint:

  • Additional connections or patterns of coordination between Florida state agencies (Department of Health, Agency for Health Care Administration, Board of Medicine, Board of Osteopathic Medicine, Executive Office of the Governor) and anti-trans activist influence groups (including but not limited to Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine, Alliance Defending Freedom, Genspect, Catholic Medical Association, National Catholic Bioethics Center, American College of Pediatricians, Christian Medical & Dental Associations, and Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine).
  • Any other undisclosed conflicts of interest or prior commitments against including gender-affirming care as a standard of care by participants in the anti-trans rulemaking process.
  • Relevant background information on recent appointees by Governor DeSantis to the Board of Osteopathic Medicine on December 6.
  • Potential involvement of British and Canadian research centers for clinical epidemiology, health research methods and evidence-based medicine in the rulemaking process.
  • Any involvement of children’s hospitals or their staff in promoting the trans youth care ban, potentially including Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Nemours Children’s Hospital Orlando, Nemours Jacksonville, AdventHealth, Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital, or others.
  • Any other history of anti-trans activity by individuals involved in or connected with the rulemaking process.

We want your tips! The information you find could help us piece together how this plan was carried out, with the possibility of recognizing this strategy elsewhere and stopping this from happening in other states. What we know so far is clearly not the entire story, and there is more to uncover about how these efforts were coordinated. You can review our existing resources and coverage of the current organized anti-trans movement from April 2022 to the present, and you can reach us at zinnia@zinniajones.com.

At the time of this writing (December 18), no dates for any hearings on the proposed rules appear to have been announced. Rules 64B8-9.019 and 64B15-14.014 do not currently list an “Effective Date”, and both state “Not Adopted by FAC [Florida Administrative Code] Yet”. This suggests that these bans on gender-affirming medical care for trans youth in Florida may not have yet taken effect. Note that both proposed rules contain the provision:

Minors being treated with puberty blocking, hormone, or hormone antagonist therapies prior to the effective date of this rule may continue with such therapies.

As these rules do not have any effective date listed yet, trans youth in Florida may currently still have the opportunity to receive gender-affirming medical treatment, and according to the proposed rules they would even be allowed to continue receiving this treatment after the rules take effect (assuming the rules do take effect). I am not any kind of professional and this is not legal advice; trans youth in Florida and their parents or guardians should seek professional advice on any treatment options that may still be available during this ongoing process.

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About Zinnia Jones

My work focuses on insights to be found across transgender sociology, public health, psychiatry, history of medicine, cognitive science, the social processes of science, transgender feminism, and human rights, taking an analytic approach that intersects these many perspectives and is guided by the lived experiences of transgender people. I live in Orlando with my family, and work mainly in technical writing.
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