It feels like the state of gender affirming care changes every day (it’s exhausting!) There are so many headlines, and it feels like we can’t keep up. This week, we’re hoping to pause and recap what we know and don’t know about lawsuits challenging restrictions to gender affirming care in the states we serve. So here it is, the June 2023 What We Know blog.
Laws restricting youth care have been passed in Florida, Idaho, Montana, and Utah. Florida also has restrictions on adult care. California and Washington have passed shield laws that protect both clinicians and patients.
States with Bans – AND LAWSUITS Challenging Those Bans
You can read up on where we serve and getting care with us at Getting Care At QueerDoc: Appointments,
A lot is going on in Florida!
DEKKER v. WEIDA
Florida adopted Rule 59G-1.050(7) of the Florida Administrative Code in August 2022, which bans Medicaid from paying for gender affirming care. This applies to both youth and adults.
The trial for this case concluded on May 22, 2023. We expect a ruling and an order soon.
DEKKER v. LADAPO
In March 2023, the Florida Board of Medicine and Osteopathic Medical Board adopted joint rules prohibiting youth from starting gender affirming care or progressing to the next step in their care.
In May 2023, Senate Bill 254 was signed into law and went into effect immediately. This codified the medical board rules restricting youth care into law and added several restrictions to adult care:
- Initial prescriptions for gender dysphoria may be written only by a doctor
- in a physical face-to-face appointment
- the patient must sign an informed consent statement, presumably generated by the State of Florida
A lawsuit had been filed challenging the medical board rules restricting youth care (Dekker v. Ladapo.) When 254 was signed into law, this lawsuit expanded to challenge the new law and requested a preliminary injunction to block the restrictions to youth care in Florida.
On June 6, 2023, Federal District Court Judge Robert Hinkle granted a partial preliminary injunction blocking the state from enforcing the youth restrictions in 254. The order applies specifically to the three youth plaintiffs in the case, but the consensus is that youth can receive care in Florida.
This injunction did not block any of the other restrictions to care in FL.
It is expected that adult plaintiffs will be added to the lawsuit (it was initially filed just about youth care restrictions) and that further injunctions will be requested of the court.
The timing of next steps in this lawsuit are not known.
Idaho House Bill 71 was signed into law on April 4, 2023. This law prohibits gender affirming care for youth, including blockers, hormones, and surgeries, effective January 1, 2024.
Montana’s Senate Bill 99 banning youth care was signed into law on April 28, 2023, and goes into effect on October 1, 2023. A lawsuit challenging this was filed on May 9, 2023.
You can read the filing here.
Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed Senate Bill 16 into law on January 28, 2023. This law prohibits gender affirming care for youth and became effective immediately. While no lawsuit has yet been filed, the ACLU, Equality Utah, and the NLCR have stated that they intend to challenge the law in court.
California and Washington
California and Washington are shield states. Laws are in effect in both states that protect providers and patients. We are happy to see patients who live in ban states and can travel for appointments. We can also refer you to Elevated Access for supported travel.
Just Hanging Out: No Lawsuits, No Shields
Alaska, Hawaii, and Wyoming do not have bans in effect, but are also not shield states.
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