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Planned Parenthood now offering transgender hormone therapy to those under 18

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SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - Planned Parenthood is hoping to make life a little bit easier for the transgender community.  They are now offering transgender hormone replacement therapy for those under the age of 18.

"We had a lot of parents actually reach out to us wanting to get care for the young people in their lives," said Dr. Suzie Prabhakaran, Vice President of Medical Affairs for Planned Parenthood.  "So we decided it was time for us to expand the care that we were providing to minors."

Planned Parenthood has been providing transgender hormone therapy since October of 2016, but up until now that was for those 18 and older.  They say transgender patients have a difficult time accessing care because a lot of doctors can be judgemental of those who are transgender.  At Planned Parenthood, it all starts with an initial consultation.

"We talk to them about their medical history, why they're seeking this care," said Prabhakaran.  "Then for most patients it's providing prescriptions for medications that affect the changes they're looking for."

Nathan Bruemmer, Executive Director of ALSO Youth in Sarasota says this is a really great service that Planned Parenthood is offering.  His organization provides advocacy, education and outreach where the focus is on issues affecting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender community including teens.

"For years, the reality has been a lot of folks and a lot of our youth have needed to go to Tampa or even Orlando for medical care," said Bruemmer. "So being able to find good care here in our community is a good thing."

Keep in mind if you are under the age of 18 and you want to utilize the services offered by Planned Parenthood, you do need to get permission from a parent.