The ‘Vulnerable Child Protection Act’ will be on the agenda of the Florida House Quality subcommittee when it meets on Monday.
The bill is sponsored by Republican Rep. Anthony Sabatini, who has long opposed the practice that permits a doctor to treat underage patients suffering from ‘gender dysphoria’ with sex-change surgery and medicine that slows the onset of puberty, providing their parents approve the procedure.
“Common sense,” the lawmaker tweeted on Saturday, welcoming the news of his proposal moving forward.
If passed, the law would make it a second-degree felony for any healthcare provider to engage in the activity aimed at altering a minor’s sex.
When he filed the bill back in January, the lawmaker compared sex-change treatment to maiming, tweeting that “no parent should be allowed to sterilize or permanently disfigure a child.”
Today I filed HB 1365, the Vulnerable Child Protection Act. This Bill makes it a felony for a health care practitioner to surgically or medically change the sex of a minor. No parent should be allowed to sterilize or permanently disfigure a child. https://t.co/8fsi61HAPM
— Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) January 13, 2020
The proposed law has drawn swift push-back from Democrats, arguing that the bill outlaws “life-saving healthcare treatment” for teenagers who have not yet come of age. Critics of the ban argue that children who cannot receive such treatment are at a higher risk of depression and suicide.
Speaking to the Blaze on Saturday, Sabatini accused Democrats in the Republican-controlled legislature who are attemping to shoot down his proposal of “furthering a political agenda” at the expense of children’s health. Citing medical findings on the issue, the lawmaker said that about 80 percent of children tend to “outgrow” their body dysphoria.
While the Florida bill still has many hoops to go through before it can become a law, a similar bill has already cleared the House of Representatives in South Dakota. Approved on Wednesday, it bans doctors from prescribing puberty blockers for anyone under 16, as well as outlawing sex reassignment surgery.