A Florida bill targeting transgender people introduced last week by a Republican committee in the state’s House of Representatives could also prevent people with breast and prostate cancer from receiving treatment, including mastectomies, The New Republic reports.
After passing the Healthcare Regulation Committee by a vote of 12–5, the bill now goes to the House for a vote. If the bill is passed and becomes law, it would ban gender-affirming care for minors and force them to medically detransition, or stop receiving treatments such as hormone therapy, according to the article.
The bill defines gender clinical interventions as “procedures or therapies that alter internal or external physical traits,” including surgeries that change “primary or secondary sexual characteristics.” The overly broad wording of the bill could prevent young people from getting treatment for breast cancer, Democratic Representative Christine Hunschofsky said while debating the bill.
The bill also calls for a ban on hormone therapy, which is prescribed for various health issues, including menopause, birth control, stunted growth and more. The bill could also deny people prostatectomies to treat prostate cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, the vast majority of breast cancer and prostate cancer diagnoses occur among people 50 and older. When considering all cancer types, about 5,000 and 6,000 adolescents (those ages 15 to 19) are diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States.
What’s more, the bill targets transgender adults too, as it would ban health insurance policies from covering gender-affirming care, thus preventing them from accessing treatment. It also would deny people the option of changing their gender on their birth certificate to correctly reflect their identity.
According to a study published in the The New England Journal of Medicine, access to gender-affirming care for transgender youth correlates with less depression and anxiety and more satisfaction with life.
The bill could dissuade medical providers from offering care to anyone who gets a procedure that inadvertently alters a primary or secondary sexual characteristic, according to The New Republic. Under the bill, medical providers could face felony charges or be sued for malpractice for up to 30 years after a procedure and lose their license.
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