Judge orders major pediatric group to turn over relevant info about support for 'gender-affirming care' in FL lawsuit

 February 1, 2023

A federal judge has ordered the American Academy of Pediatrics to turn over to the state of Florida all cited evidence, communications, and documents related to its stance in support of so-called "gender-affirming care" for minors, The Post Millennial reported.

That order came after the AAP refused to comply with subpoenas issued by the state following the organization's involvement of itself in a lawsuit against Florida's new law that prohibits the use of Medicaid funds for "gender-affirming care" like hormone treatments and sex change operations.

Relevant information must be turned over

The Daily Caller reported that U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols ruled on Thursday that the AAP was required to turn over no later than Feb. 2 certain information and documents related to its established guidelines and policy positions on gender-affirming care, how those specific guidelines and policies were developed, and how that compares to its normal establishment of guidelines and policy positions on other issues.

Further, the judge ordered the AAP to disclose information on its total number of members and any official communications with members about its guidelines and policy positions in relation to gender-affirming care.

The state of Florida had attempted to subpoena all of that and more from the AAP when that organization, among others, had signed on in support of an activist lawsuit against the Sunshine State's new prohibition against the use of Medicaid funds for transgender care like hormone treatments and operations.

The lawsuit filed last year had sought a preliminary injunction against Florida's new rule but had been denied by a different federal judge because the challenge at hand dealt with Medicaid rules and not constitutional rights.

Subpoenas issued

According to the Daily Wire, the AAP was just one of 18 different organizations that Florida had subpoenaed for relevant documents and information after those organizations had joined the lawsuit against the new Medicaid funding for transgender care prohibition.

The subpoenas issued by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration had been rather broad in search of "any" records that might be relevant, and the demands were narrowed by Judge Nichols from "any" relevant records to just those that were "sufficient to show" the information, including documents and communications, that had been requested by the state.

It is unclear if the other 17 groups and organizations who joined the lawsuit and were issued subpoenas by Florida's AHCA have already complied with those subpoenas or will need to be similarly ordered by a court to turn over the requested information.

Per the Daily Wire, some of those other involved organizations include "the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, Pediatric Endocrine Society, Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, and Yale University."

Florida seeks to protect minors, others from life-changing alterations

The outlet further noted that Florida is now one of 10 states that prohibit the use of state-funded Medicaid to pay for sex change operations and hormone treatments, a practice that Florida ultimately determined came with more costs than benefits for the state.

Florida has also already passed a separate rule that prohibits such "gender-affirming care" for minors, including the use of puberty blocker drugs, cross-sex hormone treatments, or gender reassignment surgeries.

Meanwhile, The Post Millennial noted that the AAP first announced its stance in support of such care for minors and others in 2018 but immediately faced substantial pushback from both outside of and within its own ranks, with some critics asserting that the organization had cited no real evidence to support that position and had acted to suppress internal dissent against the move.

With this order from Judge Nichols now, however, the AAP may well be forced to publicly reveal the lack of evidence and silenced internal opposition on this incredibly important issue involving the mental and physical health and well-being of children and adolescents.

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