FAQ: Doe v. Ladapo
FAQ: Doe v. Ladapo
The trial in Doe v. Ladapo, challenging Florida’s restrictions on essential medical care for transgender adolescents and adults, is taking place December 13-14 and 20-22, 2023.
What is this case about?
This case is a challenge to Florida law SB 254 and related Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine rules that ban access to essential medical care for transgender minors and severely restrict access to essential medical care for transgender adults.
These measures unlawfully target a vulnerable group and cause devastating harm to transgender adults, transgender adolescents and their parents. While the medical treatments at issue are used in a range of circumstances, SB 254 and the Boards of Medicine rules restrict them only for transgender people.
The facts and evidence in the case show that the state of Florida enacted these measures for the purpose of discouraging transgender Floridians from living consistent with their gender identity—in other words, to discourage people from being transgender.
About the ban
Florida’s adolescent transgender healthcare ban was first enacted in March 2023 through the adoption of rules by the state Board of Medicine and state Board of Osteopathic Medicine, at the urging of the Governor, Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, and the state Department of Health.
SB 254 was passed by the legislature, signed by the governor, and took effect in May 2023. It cemented into state law the ban on essential medical care for transgender minors, subject to a narrow “continued-use exception” for minors who had started treatment before the ban. SB 254 also created felony criminal and civil penalties for medical providers.
In addition, SB 254 added severe restrictions that effectively block access to essential medical care for transgender adults and transgender minors who would be eligible for the continued-use exception, including requiring that care be provided exclusively by physicians, barring telehealth, and requiring patients to complete unique, onerous and misleading consent forms.
Chronology of the case
- On March 23, 2023, Florida parents filed Doe v. Ladapo, a challenge to the Boards of Medicine rules in federal court on behalf of themselves and their transgender children.
- On April 19, 2023, the family plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction, asking the court to halt the ban while their case proceeds.
- On May 17, 2023 Doe v. Ladapo was amended to include a challenge to the ban on medical care for transgender minors contained in SB 254.
- On June 6, 2023 the district court granted the Plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the ban while the case proceeds.
- On July 21, 2023, Plaintiffs’ filed a third amended complaint adding a challenge to the restrictions on care for transgender adults contained in SB 254.
- On October 18, 2023, the federal district court certified two plaintiff classes and one sub-class in the case.
Who are the plaintiffs?
- The Court certified two plaintiff classes:
- All transgender adults in Florida who seek gender transition medical care and
- All transgender minors in Florida who seek gender transition medical care, and the parents of those minors.
- The Court also certified a subclass of the second class consisting of all transgender minors in Florida who who are totally prohibited from receiving treatments because they did not initiate them before the effective dates of the law and rules (and thus were not “grandfathered”), and are prohibited by state law from ever obtaining them
- The classes are representative by four Florida parents and their transgender adolescent children, and four transgender adult Floridians.
Who is representing the plaintiffs?
The plaintiffs in Doe v. Ladapo are represented by:
- GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
- Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC)
- National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)
- Southern Legal Counsel (SLC)
- Lowenstein Sandler LLP
Statements from plaintiffs
“As a parent, it is my deepest desire to do the very best I can for my son and currently the state is prohibiting my ability to do so. Gavin is one of those children that simply stands out. He relates with ease to others given his big heart, love of life and self-assuredness. His personality wins over the hearts of all he meets and he lives for this connection! But I am unable to get him the care he needs in Florida and am greatly concerned about what that means for his mental health and his overall well-being. He is a great student and an even greater socializer! The reality of him being forced to live in a body that he doesn’t identify with will negatively impact his academics and social health. It would be a struggle to even get him to go to school let alone excel as he has. If I cannot get Gavin medical care, I will lose my son as I know him today. His essence will disappear.”
“My worst nightmare is having to watch my child suffer because I can’t get her what she needs. We saw how our daughter Susan suffered before we were able to consult with our team of doctors to understand what she was experiencing and make the most informed decisions about her care. She is a happy, confident child now, but if we can’t get her the medical care her doctors recommend I know that’s going to go away. Seeing Susan’s own fear about what will happen to her because of this ban has been one of the hardest experiences we’ve endured as parents.”
Plaintiff Lucien Hamel
“Being forced to abruptly stop my medical care this summer has been devastating for both me and my family. I received my care from a competent medical provider that I really trusted, then I was told that Florida law suddenly won’t let APRNs and Nurse Practitioners provide the care I need. I can’t get an appointment with a physician anywhere in the state. There’s no medical basis for this change – it’s just preventing transgender Floridians like me from getting care. I’m scared and frustrated because I know my health will continue to decline the longer I have to wait, putting incredible stress on me, my wife, and our child.”