TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida lawmakers filed legislation to ban changing the listed sex on a birth certificate and prohibiting a state agency, political subdivision, public postsecondary institution, or person providing services to the various groups from paying for, or reimbursing, gender reassignment treatments.
House Bill 1421, written by Reps. Randy Fine (R-Broward), Ralph Massullo (R-Lecanto), and Berny Jacques (R-Pinellas) would block companies that provide health insurance to state officials or divisions, including local and county governments, from reimbursing or paying for what it calls gender clinical interventions.
Florida statutes would be updated to define gender clinical interventions as procedures or therapies that alter internal or external physical traits, including but not limited to “sex reassignment surgeries or any other surgical procedures that alter primary or secondary sexual characteristics.”
The bill includes puberty blockers, hormones, and hormone antagonists as relevant treatments.
However, there is an exemption for treatments from physicians who “in his or her good faith clinical judgment, performs procedures upon, or provides therapies to, a minor born with a medically verifiable genetic disorder of sexual development.”
In the legislation’s text, those disorders include:
- External biological sex characteristics that are unresolvedly ambiguous
- Sexual development disorders where a physician determines, through genetic or biochemical testing, that the minor does not have normal sex chromosome structure, sex steroid hormone production, or sex steroid hormone action for a male or female
- Treatment of infection, injury, disease, or disorder caused or exacerbated by performance of gender clinical interventions, regardless of whether the treatments were undertaken in accordance with state or federal law
The bill, if passed, would make it so that gender clinical interventions may only be provided by certain licensed physicians, and never for a patient who is a minor. Physicians who do provide the interventions for adults must obtain and maintain liability coverage, as required by law.
Additionally, physicians must obtain informed written consent from patients every time they provide gender clinical interventions for an adult, sign the consent, ad keep a copy on record.
Patients would also have to sign the informed consent form and acknowledge that their doctor has sufficiently explained its content. The information must include long and short-term effects of gender clinical interventions and the impacts of gender clinical interventions on physical and mental health.
As written, the proposed legislation also makes it so staff at a hospital or physician’s office where gender clinical interventions are authorized, performed, or provided may object to assisting or providing said treatments under clinical, moral, or religious grounds, and may not be required to participate. HB 1421 also makes it illegal to discipline staff over that refusal.
The bill also creates a legal mechanism to recover damages if a patient dies or is injured if the death or injury is alleged to come from “negligence of a physician related to gender clinical interventions for a minor” and does not qualify as medical malpractice. Legal action must be taken within 30 years of the incident, according to the bill text.
Health insurance policies would be prohibited from providing coverage for gender clinical interventions to minors, and health maintenance contracts may not include coverage for gender clinical interventions.
The bill also prevents residents from changing the sex listed on their birth certificates, with a narrow exception.
“The sex recorded on a birth certificate must be the person’s biological sex at birth and may only be changed in the case of a scrivener’s error,” the bill proposes. “Upon request, the department may change the sex on a birth certificate of person born with external biological sex characteristics that were unresolvably ambiguous at the time of birth.”
If passed into law, HB 1421 would take effect July 1.