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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks about his new book ‘The Courage to Be Free’ in the Air Force One Pavilion at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on March 5, 2023 in Simi Valley, California. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

TALLAHASSEE (LifeSiteNews) — Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ team released a powerful ad Tuesday showing the horrific reality of mutilating transgender surgeries after U.S. President Joe Biden suggested on national television that Florida’s moves to protect minors from such interventions are “close to sinful.”

In a minute-long video posted to social media Tuesday, Gov. DeSantis’ team juxtaposed a clip of Biden decrying Florida’s position on transgender interventions for kids as “cruel” alongside tragic images of the butchered forearms and torsos of young people who have had so-called “gender-affirming” surgeries.

“Biden thinks it’s ‘cruel’ that Florida is NOT allowing experimental sex change operations for kids,” DeSantis’ team said in the tweet, flagging their own video with a “GRAPHIC WARNING.”

The video shows images of the carved-up forearms of women who have had phalloplasty surgeries, as well as the disfigured chests of women who have had their breasts removed to make them look more like men.

The video retort by the DeSantis team came alongside a response by the governor himself, who hit back at Biden’s allegations that Florida’s moves to protect kids are “close to sinful.”

“It is not ‘sinful’ to prohibit the mutilation of minors,” DeSantis said in a March 14 tweet aimed directly at Biden. “It is not acceptable for the federal government to mandate that procedures like sex change operations be allowed for kids.”

Biden had made the remarks attacking DeSantis and the Florida legislature in a Monday interview on The Daily Show

“What’s going on in Florida is, as my mother would say, close to sinful,” Biden told actor Kal Penn during the interview, arguing that laws opposing the spread of transgender ideology are “cruel” and hinting at national legislation to prohibit states like Florida from making laws that protect kids.

READ: Biden attacks DeSantis for protecting children from transgender mutilation: ‘Close to sinful’

Under such legislation, which Biden hinted would be modeled on the so-called Respect for Marriage Act that compels all states to recognize as “marriage” unions between members of the same sex, states would be forced to allow mutilating medical and pharmaceutical interventions without being able to enact state laws protecting gender-confused minors from making permanent, life-altering decisions.

Biden said Monday that a national law would mean states like Florida that have worked to enact common sense legislation would be “breaking the law” and would be “held accountable.”

Under DeSantis’ watch, Florida’s Board of Medicine has consistently voted to ban the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, or mutilating gender “transition” surgeries for minors. Last year, the governor signed the “Parental Rights in Education” Act (mischaracterized by legacy media outlets and Democrats as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill), prohibiting sexual and gender-ideology content in schools for students in kindergarten through third grade. Any such content for older children must be “age appropriate.”

Florida’s stance on prohibiting gender interventions for minors is backed up by studies suggesting that as many as four out of five children who experience confusion about their sex outgrow it before reaching adulthood.

While transgender advocates often attempt to cite date to argue that so-called “gender-affirming care” helps reduce suicidal ideation, a 2021 JAMA study found that efforts “to empirically demonstrate mental health benefits from gender-affirming surgery have generated mixed results.”

Moreover, that study pointed out that a 2020 correction to a 2010 meta-analysis, “the largest existing study on this subject to our knowledge,” had found “no mental health benefit from gender-affirming surgery after comparison with a control group of [gender-confused] people who had not yet undergone surgery.”

In 2011, a Swedish cohort study found that “persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behavior, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population.”

While most transgender surgeries are undertaken by adults, children who express gender-confusion are increasingly prescribed puberty-blockers and cross-sex hormones, which can have serious permanent effects, including sterility.

Moreover, gender clinics across the U.S. have policies permitting certain surgical interventions for adolescents, leading to spiking rates of surgical mutilation for minors.

In addition, World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), upon which many hospitals and clinics rely for guidance on transgender interventions, last year updated its recommendations on minimum ages for transgender surgeries and hormones.

The new guidance suggests dropping the minimum age for cross-sex hormones from 16 to 14, and suggested that some breast and genital surgeries may be done on 15- or 17-year-olds.

RELATED: ‘Child abuse’: Congressman demands NIH investigate transgender drugs, surgeries for minors

Meanwhile, Biden’s attacks against DeSantis this week aren’t new.

The Democratic president’s White House had similarly lobbed accusations against DeSantis over his parental rights legislation last year.

“Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law takes effect today – the latest attempt by Republicans in state houses to target LGBTQI+ students, teachers, and families,” Biden tweeted in July. 

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had also piggybacked on Biden’s remarks, arguing at the time that the Florida law wasn’t really “an issue of ‘parents’ rights,’” but a matter of “discrimination, plain and simple.”

The continuation of Gov. DeSantis’ public sparring with the Biden administration comes as the Florida governor, who scored an historic re-election victory in November, is widely anticipated to launch a presidential run following the end of his state’s current legislative session in May.