Monday, February 22, 2021

Florida Legislator Wants To Criminalize Gender-Affirming Care

Anthony Sabatini
With no applicable training and experience, Florida House Rep. Anthony Sabatini proposes to substitute his judgment for that of professional clinicians.
via Florida Politics
Anthony Sabatini has represented District 32 in the Florida State House of Representatives since 2018. Sabatini likes to generate “Look-At-Me!” noise. Sabatini has now introduced HB-935 which, if enacted into law, would criminalize gender-affirming care and exclude trans girls from competing in high school athletics.

In 2020 Sabatini filed a nearly identical bill (without the ban on trans girls in athletics), HB-1365. It died in the Health Quality Subcommittee. 

The 32-year-old Sabatini graduated University of Florida Law in 2017 and he has been a member of the Florida Bar since 2019. In 2020 Sabatini personally — and unsuccessfully — sued at least 14 Florida counties trying to overturn mask mandates. 

Sabatini's other hobby is trying to overturn virtually all gun safety measures in the state. But I digress.
Were this measure to be enacted into law it would criminalize adherence to the clinical practice guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Mr. Sabatini is a newly-minted lawyer. He has no medical training that I am aware of. Yet he proposes to substitute his judgment for that of clinicians who do have the necessary training and experience to treat gender-diverse children and adolescents. On what planet does that make any sense at all?

Mr. Sabatini has not received guidance from any experts in this field. If he did, he would not propose this legislation.

As for banning trans girls from athletic competition, there is no “findings” section in the proposed legislation. Therefore, we cannot know on what basis Sabatini is proposing the exclusion.

Had Sabatini proposed forming a legislative study committee that would hear from sports medicine and other experts, that would make a bit of sense. I am certain that disinterested persons with the necessary expertise could come up with rational guidelines just as the NCAA and the IOC have.

The outright ban without scientific study is just an exercise in bigotry.

Anthony Sabatini's motives — political, religious or getting some attention — are irrelevant. Measures like these benefit no one. Legislation like this, if enacted, would kill kids. Kids with gender dysphoria who are affirmed in their gender and have family support do very well.

Kids who are denied this kind of treatment — which is advocated by every mainstream medical association — are at significant risk for self-harm. Children have an absolute right to the best medical care available.

The best medical care is defined by, and developed through, medical science. It is not to be determined by legislators who have no applicable training and experience. A legislator attempting to do so is guilty of arrogance.

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