FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—The Florida agency that crafted a rule to prevent Medicaid from funding experimental transgender medical interventions responded Tuesday to the release of internal documents from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.

Journalist Michael Shellenberger on Monday night released a report, “The WPATH Files,” through his nonprofit, Environmental Progress. In the files, doctors and other medical professionals at the World Professional Association for Transgender Health struggle with serious medical issues underscoring the idea that “transgender” hormones and surgeries euphemistically referred to as “gender-affirming care” represent a Wild West of experimental medicine.

“At the direction of Gov. [Ron] DeSantis, the state of Florida is working to do everything possible to protect children from the mutilation pushed by radical gender ideology and the groups that ascribe to it,” Jason Weida, secretary of Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, told The Daily Signal in a written statement Tuesday. “Revelations like this confirm how harmful these procedures are.”

The WPATH Files” reveal that doctors and therapists struggled with issues related to informed consent, acknowledging that teenagers cannot understand the long-term consequences of so-called puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries.

WPATH members also discussed the gruesome side effects of transgender surgeries, such as pain during sex and uncomfortable bodily secretions. They dismissed the idea that detransitioners—those who reject a transgender identity after irreversibly altering their bodies—prove that some people make mistakes when undergoing “gender-affirming care.”

“This is why Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration fought so hard last year to compel the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Endocrine Society, and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health to disclose internal documents regarding their recommendations for so-called ‘gender-affirming care,'” Weida said. “Those groups blocked our efforts, but we will continue to fight for transparency for the public.”

In August 2022, Weida’s agency finalized a rule declaring that Medicaid would not cover “puberty blockers,” cross-sex hormones, “sex-reassignment” surgeries, or other procedures that alter primary or secondary sex characteristics.

LGBT and health activist groups led by Lambda Legal represent four young people who identify as transgender and who filed a lawsuit in September 2022 aiming to halt the Florida rule. As part of their lawsuit, the LGBT groups asked the court to temporarily block the rule while it considers the full case. In denying that temporary injunction, the court ruled in October that the case centers on whether Florida’s determination that the transgender interventions are “experimental” is “reasonable.”

In June, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ordered Weida and the DeSantis administration to reverse the order and approve Medicaid funding for “puberty blockers” and cross-sex hormones. Hinkle, appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1996, ruled that “gender identity is real. The record makes this clear.”

Hinkle ruled that Weida violated the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause by denying “Medicaid coverage for transgender patients for the same drugs covered for others.” The judge also ruled that Weida violated the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, by discriminating against Medicaid recipients on the basis of sex.

The judge wrote that “it is fanciful to believe that all the many medical associations who have endorsed gender-affirming care, or who have spoken out or joined an amicus brief supporting the plaintiffs in this litigation, have so readily sold their patients down the river. The great weight of medical authority supports these treatments.”

Hinkle also condemned “bigotry” against this “care.”

“Where there is bigotry, there are usually—one hopes, always—opponents of bigotry,” Hinkle wrote. “It is hardly surprising that doctors who understand that transgender identity can be real, not made up—doctors who are willing to provide supportive medical care—oppose anti-transgender bigotry.”

Weida has appealed the case to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Contrary to Hinkle’s findings, though, many doctors have testified against so-called gender-affirming care, and “The WPATH Files” underscores their warnings about the experimental nature of these medical interventions.

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the URL or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.