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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisX/Screenshot

BRADENTON, Florida (LifeSiteNews) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took aim at the sex “transitioning” of minors Tuesday, announcing he will work with the legislature to make such practices illegal in the Sunshine State.

Speaking at a news conference in Bradenton, Florida, DeSantis lamented that doctors are “giving teenagers, kids puberty blockers. They’re doing sex change operations. And so we actually have, you know, young adults who went through this when they were minors, and they’re saying this is a huge mistake. And, in fact, it’s not evidence based.”

The governor noted that his administration has already taken action through the state medical board to say that “if you’re performing those procedures on these minors, you’re gonna lose your medical license here in Florida,” and announced that he will be working with the legislation to enact legislation making that permanent, “to make sure that we put that into statute so that you’re able to have accountability in that sphere.”

“These are young, very young people and they have all kinds of things that go on, you know, when you’re in those years,” DeSantis went on, “and most of it resolves itself by the time they become adults, but the way to deal with that is to provide whatever counseling is needed – not to hack off their body parts. That is not a solution to the problem. That is mutilation and it is wrong.”

Studies find that more than 80% of children experiencing gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence, and that even full “reassignment” surgery often fails to resolve gender-confused individuals’ heightened tendency to engage in self-harm and suicide — and may even exacerbate it by reinforcing their confusion and neglecting the actual root causes of their mental strife.

On top of those issues, experts outside the medical establishment further warn that surgically or chemically reinforcing gender confusion imposes irreversible harm on children such as infertility, impairment of adult sexual function, and reduced life expectancy, as well as the psychological toll of being “locked into” physical alterations regardless of whether they change their minds when they mature, as attested to by many individuals who “detransitioned” back to their true sex.

The issue grimly illustrated in the story of Yaeli Martinez, a 19-year-old to whom “gender transitioning” was touted as a possible cure for her depression in high school, supported by a high school counselor who withheld what she was going through from her mother. The troubled girl killed herself after trying to live as a man for three years.

DeSantis also took the opportunity to challenge the euphemisms a liberal journalist in attendance used to describe the practice.

“What do you mean by ‘gender-based care’?” he asked. “You mean sex-change operations? […] I don’t think we use that term. You used it, so I’m asking you to define it. Do you include puberty blockers in that?”

Former President Donald Trump, the governor’s chief rival for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, also released a policy plan Tuesday to “protect children from left-wing gender insanity,” consisting of proposing legislation and pursuing executive action to stop such practices in medicine and education.