14 Youth Gender Clinics Could Close as a Result of State Legislation
On Wednesday, reports surfaced that up to 13 youth gender clinics at university hospitals across the country could end up closing by the end of the year as a result of state legislation restricting gender transition procedures for minors, in addition to at least one other clinic in Idaho.
On June 2, Texas became the 20th Republican-led state to place restrictions on procedures that remove healthy organs from or inject hormones into minors who are confused about their biological sex. “In some cases, university youth gender clinics have already scaled back their operations as a result of state law,” reported The College Fix. “Litigation against the legislation could slow down or stop some clinics from closing. However, some are being closed while litigation proceeds.”
The states that have passed restrictions on gender transition procedures for minors include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.
So far, Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee and the University of Oklahoma Children’s Hospital have both announced that they will cease performing gender transition procedures for minors as a result of recently passed legislation. The Transgender Health Program at the University of Utah announced that it would reduce transition procedures in light of state law, while also stating that “Utah law creates a pathway for minors who have a documented gender dysphoria diagnosis prior to January 28, 2023, to receive gender-affirming hormone therapy and puberty blockers.”
Other university youth gender clinics that will likely have to cease transition procedures on minors include two clinics run by West Virginia University Medicine, the University of Florida Health’s Youth Gender Program, Indiana University Health, three clinics at the University of Iowa Health Care, the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, a clinic at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, and a pediatric gender clinic at the Medical University of South Carolina.
In addition, the Essence Clinic at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Boise, Idaho will likely have to cease providing transition procedures for children as a result of legislation signed into law banning the practice by Governor Grad Little (R) in April, which will go into effect next year. The Essence Clinic previously stated on its website that it offered “hormonal therapy, including puberty blockers” and “surgical consultations and referrals” to “children, adolescents, and young adults.” It now claims to simply provide “gender-affirming care.”
The potential closures represent a remarkable turn of events in a relatively short period of time. Just a year ago, The College Fix found “at least thirteen Republican-led states that funded pediatric gender clinics through universities.” As some experts are noting, legislation that bans the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and the surgical removal of healthy organs from minors is forcing a number of clinics to cease the procedures that transgender activists claim never occur.
“It’s amazing how fast hospitals (including some children’s hospitals) are going from, ‘We don’t do that here, so we don’t need a law’ when a bill is being debated to, ‘We have to stop doing that’ once the law is enacted,” Quena González, senior director of Government Affairs at Family Research Council, told The Washington Stand.
“University hospitals are supposedly institutions that follow data and practice evidence-based medicine,” he pointed out. “The fact that these university hospitals had been doing gender transition procedures on kids, despite the profound lack of solid evidence that they alleviate the long-term suffering of kids suffering discomfort with their sex, tells you quite a bit about how politicized the medical field has become in this area.”
González further noted that “the most effective treatment for the diagnosis of gender dysphoria in the DSM-V-TR is letting kids grow up. Between 61% and 98% of minors desist in their feelings of discomfort with their sex as they go through puberty. There is no other intervention in the DSM for any disorder with a success rate that high, and yet university-sponsored gender clinics are putting very young children on a path to sterility and eventual castration.”
So why do so many university hospitals offer gender transition procedures for minors? “An academic friend of mine suggests that perhaps it’s because the same social constructivist worldview that universities teach young adults — ‘You can be anything you want to be’ — now targets vulnerable children who experience discomfort with their sex,” González concluded.
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.