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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo YouTube video screenshot

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (LifeSiteNews) – The Florida Department of Health released new guidance on Wednesday warning against transgender drugs and surgeries for minors and repudiating recent claims by the Biden administration in support of “gender-affirming care.”

Florida’s guidance recommends that children and adolescents with gender dysphoria should not be prescribed puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones or receive “sex change” surgeries. Gender dysphoria is a disorder that involves stress due to a desire to live as the opposite sex.

The guidance also advises against “social gender transition,” which can include changing a child’s name, pronouns, and clothing in accordance with a so-called “transgender identity.”

The Florida Department of Health 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.”

“Based on the currently available evidence, ‘encouraging mastectomy, ovariectomy, uterine extirpation, penile disablement, tracheal shave, the prescription of hormones which are out of line with the genetic make-up of the child, or puberty blockers, are all clinical practices which run an unacceptably high risk of doing harm,’” the guidance added, citing a recent article published in the Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy.

More than 80 percent of minors with gender dysphoria grow out of the condition by late adolescence, according to other research cited in the document.

“Children and adolescents should be provided social support by peers and family and seek counseling from a licensed provider,” the Florida Department of Health urged.

The new guidelines don’t apply to medical procedures for children with a “genetically or biochemically verifiable disorder of sex development.”

It’s unclear what effect the guidance will have on Florida doctors, according to The Tampa Bay Times. The state has multiple active “gender clinics” for young people, including the UF Health Youth Gender Program in Gainesville and the Orlando-based Adolescent Medicine Center of the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.

RELATED: Alabama bans ‘sex change’ procedures for children, LGBT ideology in elementary schools

The Florida Department of Health noted that Wednesday’s guidance falls in line with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s age requirement for “gender reassignment services,” in addition to “guidance, reviews, and recommendations from Sweden, Finland, the United Kingdom, and France.”

In February, Sweden recommended against puberty blockers and other hormone drugs for minors in light of significant health risks and “uncertain science.” The dangers of the drugs “outweigh the possible benefits,” Swedish health officials said at the time. Finland announced similar recommendations in 2020.

Experts have cautioned that transgender hormone drugs can result in serious or even life-threatening side effects, such as sterilization. Drug labels for puberty blockers warn of stroke and “sudden cardiac death,” and cross-sex hormones are linked to increased risk of cancer and often lead to mutilating “sex change” surgeries.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones for children or adolescents with gender dysphoria. Neither type of drug has been evaluated in randomized controlled trials or longitudinal studies with minors who have the condition.

Biden admin ‘injecting political ideology into the health of our children’

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 on Wednesday, 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.”

The Florida Department of Health on Wednesday published a fact check refuting guidelines from the HHS Offices of Population Affairs (OASH). The OASH guidance, which claimed that transgender procedures help “mental health and overall well-being,” relied on small, questionable studies, like an online survey of “transgender” adults, the fact check points out.

One study cited by the OASH actually found that “socially transitioning” children “could not be supported from the present results.”

“The current evidence does not support the use of puberty blockers, hormone treatments, or surgical procedures for children and adolescents, considering potentially irreversible consequences such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, infertility, increased cancer risk, and thrombosis,” the Florida Department of Health observed.

Republicans crack down on child ‘sex changes’

Florida’s new guidance comes amid a push by Republican state officials across the country to crack down on experimental, dangerous pediatric “gender transitions.”

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey earlier this month signed into law a ban on transgender drugs and surgeries for minors below age 19. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey approved a bill the week before prohibiting underage “sex change” surgeries in the Grand Canyon State.

In February, Gov. Greg Abbott directed Texas state agencies to treat “gender-transitioning procedures” for minors as child abuse and investigate parents and medical facilities responsible for “transitioning” kids.

Florida lawmakers have introduced similar measures, but the proposals have stalled in the GOP-controlled state legislature. Gov. DeSantis said last year that he would sign such legislation if it crossed his desk.

The Republican governor and potential 2024 hopeful signed a bill in March that restricts discussion of sexuality and gender issues in public schools through the third grade.