Dems Exit Committee to Avoid Doctor’s Description of Gender Transition Surgeries on Minors
“We don’t want to be held hostage by whatever it is that you guys are doing,” interjected a female representative. The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee was seven hours into a marathon “markup” session — an ordinarily boring affair in which committees amend bills — when an unexpected request sent it spiraling out of control. The committee was debating whether a children’s hospital funding bill should allow money to subsidize gender transition surgeries for minors, and Democrats on the committee absolutely refused to listen to a video from a leading gender transition surgeon describing the process.
“It was mentioned by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, several times, that we don’t understand this process,” began Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.). “And so, for the sake of clarity, really, I’d like to show a video, a brief interview that was conducted [with] an expert in gender reassignment surgeries from Oregon’s health care system.”
At that moment, several Democrats interjected out of turn. “Madam chair, I object,” exclaimed Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.). “I move the committee adjourn. This has turned into a circus. I move that the committee be adjourned.” Other voices also raised a chorus of objections, while one member added, “Madam chair, we don’t want to be held hostage by whatever it is that you guys are doing.”
Playing a video during a markup hearing is unusual, but not unheard of. Notably, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) once opened a Senate Judiciary markup hearing by playing a video that criticized the Supreme Court’s opinion in Dobbs.
After several outbursts, Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) gaveled the meeting to order. Cammack controlled the time, she ruled, after taking a moment to consider the procedural merits of the motion, and a vote on adjournment would have to wait until after Cammack’s five minutes were up. Ironically, committee Democrats spent 25 minutes contesting the five-minute speech.
When McMorris Rodgers indicated Cammack could resume, she was cut short again. “Without objection, I would like to play the video,” she said. Instantly, another Democrat responded, “I object. I object. We have no foundation or basis for this.”
At this point, Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-N.Y.), who sat next to McMorris Rodgers, said something to her which was not recorded on the microphones, but he evidently argued that the minority should have a chance to view the video before it was shown in committee. McMorris Rodgers then announced a five-minute recess so that Democrats could view the video. After the recess (which lasted 12 minutes), Pallone declared, “I looked at the video, but I insist on my objection. Because, I have to be honest, I don’t even understand what the person is saying. It’s all — to me it’s almost impossible to understand what he’s saying and how it relates to what we’re discussing here. Even the authentication is difficult, so I insist on the objection.”
The objection merely delayed the video, however. The committee took a voice vote, then a recorded vote (which takes minutes longer) was requested, and the committee voted 26-18 to watch the video.
At that, the Democrats on the committee stood up and left the room as the video began to play.
The video featured Dr. Blair Peters, a plastic surgeon specializing in gender transition surgeries (particular genital surgeries) at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU). Peters “established OHSU as a national and international leader” in gender transitions, the university hospital boasted, and even produced an app to reduce anxiety in children undergoing gender transition surgeries. He has been unusually open among American medical professionals about performing gender transition surgeries on minors.
In the video, which featured Peters’s responses in an interview, he declared that there were “a lot of adolescents presenting for surgical intervention,” but that “adolescents, for sure, present some unique challenges.” In particular, “one thing that is very new is genital surgery in someone undergoing pubertal suppression,” he said. He described how prepubescent male genitalia did not provide sufficient tissue to be reshaped into a mimicry of female genitalia.
Peters also admitted that neither he nor anyone else really knew how to perform gender transition surgeries on minors who have taken puberty blockers. “We’ve maybe done a couple of pubertally suppressed adolescents, as a field, and no one’s published on it yet,” he said. “OHSU, we’re just putting out first series together as we’re just learning, figuring out what works.” On the basis of this non-existent scientific record, left-wing ideologues want the federal government to fund experimentation (permanently sterilizing experimentation) on children.
“Earlier today, just a few minutes ago, our colleagues on the Left said that we didn’t know what we were talking about,” said Cammack, when the video concluded. “So, when presented with a video that details exactly what it means to conduct surgery on a minor — for gender-affirming surgery — they left the room. They don’t want the facts.”
Not until Cammack had finished speaking did Democrats file back into the committee room.
“I really regret that this turned into such a circus here at the end,” said Castor. “And I was so hopeful that the Energy and Commerce Committee, that deals with such fundamental issues facing the families back home, that we would be immune from the extremism that has polluted a lot of the other committees.” A lot of Americans hope that — but Castor should look in the mirror. Basic economic issues shouldn’t be politicized, but when a group of ideologues is devoted to injecting transgender ideology into every aspect of policy, it really can’t be helped.
“This historically bipartisan initiative, training doctors in America’s children’s hospitals, has been bipartisan for years and years and years,” Castor continued. “But now, it’s simply another hate-filled vessel for right-wing, MAGA extremism.” Leftism is one serious hallucinogen. Cammack is far from the most conservative member of the U.S. House, having voted twice for the (Dis)Respect for Marriage Act.
And the bill, introduced by Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), is far from a stalwart conservative victory, repeatedly using the problematic and misleading term “gender-affirming care” for procedures that are, in fact, child mutilation, and which do not affirm the child in their biological sex. Yet for House Democrats, anything but total submission to the transgender agenda is “MAGA extremism.”
“It’s unimaginable before today this committee would put forth a bill to fund children’s hospitals that we could not all agree on,” echoed Rep. Kim Schrier (D-Wash.). It is, indeed, unimaginable that Democrats would refuse to fund children’s hospitals unless taxpayers also funded gender transition surgeries for minors.
Yet those very same legislators also refuse to listen to an expert in minor castration — from their own side, no less — describe the procedures they wish taxpayers to fund. On one hand, the trans lobby has the national Democratic Party by the throat, and legislators live in fear of its cancellation. On the other hand, these legislators are men and women with God-given consciences who want to be able to sleep at night. They reason with themselves that it will all work out fine, so long as they can close their eyes and ears to the misery of permanently disfigured children. As one gender transition doctor quipped about irreversibly transitioning children who would later regret their physical loss, “Happier in the moment, right?”
Joshua Arnold is a staff writer at The Washington Stand.