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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisPhoto by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) – Florida governor Ron DeSantis affirmed he would ban “gender transition” surgeries for minors during a Monday podcast. 

“I would ban the sex change, the operations,” DeSantis told Fox News contributor and journalist Lisa Boothe during a Monday episode of her podcast. She had asked if he would take Florida Department of Health guidelines, which already recommend against so-called gender transition, a step further by supporting a state law to ban such procedures.

DeSantis continued, pointing out, “You can’t get a tattoo if you’re 12 years old. When they say ‘gender-affirming care,’ what they mean, a lot of times, is you are really … castrating a young boy, you’re sterilizing a young girl, you’re doing mastectomies for these very young girls.”

He also highlighted the fact that 80 percent of gender dysphoria cases “resolve themselves” as children grow older, as a study published in the International Review of Psychiatry and cited by the Florida Department of Health notes.

“You’re doing things that are permanently altering them, and then they’re not gonna be able to reverse that, and so I don’t think it’s appropriate for kids at all,” he added.

On April 20, the Florida Department of Health released guidance warning against transgender drugs and surgeries for minors, including puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and operations such as mastectomies and tracheal shaves, which it said “run an unacceptably high risk of doing harm,” citing a recent article published in the Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy.

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The department pointed to “a lack of conclusive evidence” for “gender transitioning” and “the potential for long-term, irreversible effects,” and noted that systematic reviews on hormonal interventions “show a trend of low-quality evidence, small sample sizes, and medium to high risk of bias.”

The guidance instead advised that “Children and adolescents should be provided social support by peers and family and seek counseling from a licensed provider.”

Florida’s guidelines came as a response to documents issued last month by the Biden administration’s Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) that hail “gender-affirming care,” including chemical and surgical castration, as “crucial” for “transgender and nonbinary” youth.

In a press release, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo blasted the HHS guidance for “failing at the most basic level of academic rigor.”

“The federal government’s medical establishment releasing guidance failing at the most basic level of academic rigor shows that this was never about health care,” said Ladapo, an appointee of Gov. Ron DeSantis. “It was about injecting political ideology into the health of our children. Children experiencing gender dysphoria should be supported by family and seek counseling, not pushed into an irreversible decision before they reach 18.”

DeSantis backed Florida’s guidelines in his interview with Boothe, but emphasized that additional safeguards are needed.

“I think the guidance is right, but I think that there should be additional protections,” he continued. “Because, you know, when you’re growing up, there are things that, you know, it’s an awkward time, and it seems like there’s a concerted effort in society to push these kids in to do some type of medical intervention, and in our judgment, that’s not healthy.”

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Gov. DeSantis said last year that he would sign this type of legislation if it crossed his desk. However, one such recent Florida bill, HB 211, known as the Vulnerable Child Protection Act, that would crack down on doctors who remove children’s healthy body parts or prescribe off-label hormone drugs to kids, has been blocked by Florida’s Republican House Speaker, according to the bill author.