Florida medical organization will not have to answer House subpoena immediately

The Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics says that the subpoena is a violation of the First Amendment.
A pride flag billows in the wind as students join a protest at Gaither High in Tampa against what critics call the Don’t Say Gay bill on Feb. 14, 2022.
A pride flag billows in the wind as students join a protest at Gaither High in Tampa against what critics call the Don’t Say Gay bill on Feb. 14, 2022. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published May 2|Updated May 3

TALLAHASSEE — A medical association subpoenaed by the Florida House for information on its support of gender-affirming care will not have to immediately answer to the subpoena after both sides came to an agreement Wednesday morning, according to the group’s attorney.

The Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics requested a temporary injunction to stop the subpoena, which demanded records be turned over by 10 a.m. Thursday. It also requested a permanent injunction to quash the subpoena altogether, said Barry Richard, the chapter’s attorney.

Richard said the state’s lawyer agreed not to seek to hold the chapter in contempt until a final hearing on the validity of the subpoena. Next, the state will respond to the chapter’s complaint.

“It’s effectively a stay,” Richard said.

Rep. Randy Fine, chairperson of the Health and Human Services Committee, issued the subpoena last week as Republican lawmakers sought to get more details on how national medical organizations came to adopt their guidelines in support of gender-affirming care for transgender children. The House also issued a subpoena to the Florida Psychiatric Society, a district branch of the American Psychiatric Association.

Richard disputed the purpose of the subpoena because SB 254, a bill that restricts treatments such as puberty blockers and hormone therapies for children with gender dysphoria, has already passed the House and Senate. (Because the House amended the legislation, the Senate needs to take another vote on the amended language.)

“... the Senate and House considered and debated Senate Bill 254 and its House companion for more than 6 weeks with no apparent need for the information they now seek to compel,” the attorney said in the injunction request.

House Speaker Paul Renner previously said he wanted the subpoenas to determine whether the organizations’ guidelines were the result of scientific analysis or whether they were “compromised by a radical gender ideology.”

Fine said in a tweet Tuesday that filing an injunction to stop the release of information “tells you all you need to know.”

The request for an injunction was initially filed Monday as part of an ongoing federal lawsuit against the Agency for Health Care Administration over its refusal to use Medicaid to fund treatments for people with gender dysphoria.

The complaint has since been moved to a new federal case, Florida Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics Inc v. Fine.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics endorses “developmentally appropriate” care for minors with gender dysphoria, including puberty blockers during puberty development, hormone therapies in adolescence and surgeries typically for adults. It said surgeries should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis for adolescents, in consideration with their families and medical and mental health providers.

This story was updated after it originally posted to provide the latest information on the case.

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