Planned Parenthood announces services for transgender patients

Starting this weekend, all of Central Florida’s Planned Parenthood centers will begin giving out hormones and advice to transgender patients transitioning from man-to-woman or woman-to-man.   Spokeswoman Anna Eskamani says it's an emerging need in the community.

“We feel adding Hormone Replacement Therapy to our list of high-quality care services is really core to our mission.”   

Eskamani says if a person is seriously looking to change genders, they'll first sit down for an appointment before getting hormone treatments. 

“You'll be able to ask questions, have a physical done, have lab work done, make sure you're in good health and good spirits.”

Eskamani stresses no public dollars will fund these services. It will all be out-of-pocket or covered by insurance.

“At Planned Parenthood we accept all major forms of insurance and we also keep costs low for people paying out of pocket. We look for ways to reduce financial barriers that exist for our patients,” she says.

Despite this, the plan doesn't sit right with John Stemberger, from the Florida Family Council. He worries it may be too easy for people, especially impressionable young people, to walk into a planned parenthood office and get these hormones.

“A lot of schools are promoting gender diversity -- not just allowing it but promoting it -- and I can see Planned Parenthood trying to market and target to children in those schools. That would be a big concern of mine,” Stemberger says.

While this procedure is controversial, people on the streets in downtown Orlando said they don't mind - as long as they're not the ones paying for it.

“If it's out of pocket that's fine. Insurance, if they're paying for the insurance then that's fine, as well,” says Tony Amaway.

“Out of pocket I would say to each their own, not for me,” says Kim Rudolph, “but with insurance somebody still has to pay for it. That would be me somehow -- even a little.”

While these transgender services will only start in October, Planned Parenthood officials say interested patients can start making appointments for them now.