TheBlaze has learned that a key committee in the Florida legislature has agreed to take up a bill proposed by a conservative lawmaker that, if passed, would outlaw injecting children with puberty blockers and performing sex-change surgeries on them in the state.
Members of the Health Quality Subcommittee will debate Republican Rep. Anthony Sabatini's "Vulnerable Child Protection Act" on Monday. Sabatini's legislation would make it a crime for doctors to perform surgeries on children that "sterilize" them, alter their genitals, or inject them with controversial "puberty blockers."
Under the new law, medical professionals who perform said procedures would face felony charges, fines, and imprisonment.
'Dangerous social experiments'
Sabatini said the new statute is needed to protect the Sunshine State's children from left-wing activists performing "dangerous social experiments" on underage minors.
In an interview with TheBlaze, the conservative Republican lawmaker from Central Florida noted that "80 percent of children who experience gender dysphoria outgrow it, but radical leftists want to make it permanent with dangerous medical procedures simply to further a political agenda."
The Lake County Republican is pointing to research showing the vast majority of children who experience gender identity dysphoria do not continue their transition into adulthood.
"While the actual percentages vary from study to study, overall, it appears that about 80 percent of kids with gender dysphoria end up feeling okay, in the long run, with the bodies they were born into," The Cut reported in 2016.
Sabatini also pointed to medical research showing puberty blockers can be dangerous for children.
"It has been shown that puberty blockers interfere with the expected increase in bone density in adolescence such that the bones are not as strong as they would be had normal pubertal development been allowed," according to endocrinologist Michael Laidlaw. "These lost years of bone development cannot be regained."
In addition, the FDA has received over 24,000 reports of adverse reactions to Lupron, the drug most commonly used to delay puberty. Reported side effects include joint pain, osteoporosis, immune systems complications, and mental health issues, among them suicidal thoughts and severe depression.
Anti-gay? Hardly, Sabatini says
Despite the medical concerns with puberty blockers and the performance of sex-change operations on minors, as TheBlaze reported last month, a handful of Sabatini's Democratic colleagues blasted the bill when the lawmaker presented it in January. Now, presumably as a result of lobbying efforts by LGBT groups, the Florida representative says that a growing number of Democrats are working in lock-step to undermine his proposal.
"Shockingly, the entire Democrat Party has become so radical, that it now defends shutting down puberty for minors and medical sex change for children—it's mind boggling," he said when contacted by phone on Saturday.
NBC News has labeled the "Vulnerable Child Protection Act" NBC and other unrelated regulatory pro-business reforms as "anti-gay." By labeling Sabatini's proposal as "homophobic" and grouping it together with other bills, Democratic activist groups are hoping to brand the disparate legislative efforts as a broader "attack" on LGBT communities with the goal of sinking the "Vulnerable Child Protection Act," which, according to the Florida lawmaker, is the one that Democrats are truly attempting to target.
Sabatini is unfazed, however, telling TheBlaze that his Democratic colleagues are well aware that his bill "has nothing to do with sexual orientation."
"It's about stopping some in the medical industry making a profit while enabling those who want to experiment on children who are experiencing gender identity issues," he said.
Should Sabatini's bill pass the House, Florida will join South Dakota as the next state to move toward prohibiting sex-change surgeries for minors.