HHS Offers Single 2-Pager in Support of Gender Transition Procedures for Children
The Biden administration is admitting it has little basis for claiming that gender transition procedures are “life-saving” or “necessary.” According to the response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the watchdog organization Protect the Public’s Trust, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is basing its claim that gender transition procedures are “necessary” on a two-page PDF entitled “Gender-Affirming Care and Young People.”
According to The Daily Wire, Protect the Public’s Trust requested “records of scientific evidence, studies, and/or data” which support transgender-identifying Assistant HHS Secretary Rachel Levine’s claim that “‘gender-affirming care is medically necessary, safe, and effective’” for minors.
The document provided by HHS cites one study, conducted by LGBT activist organization The Trevor Project, to support its argument that gender transition procedures — including hormone drugs, puberty blockers, and irreversible surgeries — prevent suicide among youth who identify as transgender. That study found that although 51% of minors who were given gender transition drugs and surgeries were still suicidal, a higher percentage (62%) of minors not undergoing gender transition procedures were also suicidal.
Dr. Jennifer Bauwens, director of the Center for Family Studies at Family Research Council, commented to The Washington Stand, “The response from HHS with the brochure — with one study attached to it — is a great metaphor, it’s very much indicative of the reality that they don’t have evidence to support it.”
She continued, “What does Secretary Levine know that all of the other countries and all of the other states that have had thorough reviews of the literature and testimony presented and have all backed away from these procedures don’t know, while the HHS is plowing ahead with one brochure with one study attached. It really is a metaphor for how those services are being used in our country.”
Protect the Public’s Trust issued a letter Tuesday to the HHS Inspector General, demanding Levine be investigated for violating the HHS’s scientific integrity to promote a political agenda. The letter clarified, “This suggests that Assistant Secretary Levine has constantly, continually, ‘everywhere I go,’ made unequivocal statements regarding the medical necessity, safety, and effectiveness of gender-affirming care based entirely upon a single two-page document.”
Levine has a lengthy history of promoting gender transition procedures for children. In 2022, Levine criticized state-level legislation barring minors from accessing gender transition procedures, calling the laws “harassment, scapegoating, and intentional abuse,” and further faulting such laws for what he said was an increase in transgender-identifying teen suicides. He has also touted life-altering gender transition procedures as “medically necessary, safe, and effective for trans and non-binary youth.” He has also claimed that children can go through “the wrong puberty” and that the medical “necessity” of gender transition procedures is “evidence-based,” clearly referring to his two-page PDF. Levine has further stated that a child’s gender transition process can begin as early as the age of three years old.
Last year, Levine was exposed for discussing the “profitability” of gender transition genital mutilation surgeries with officials at the Penn State Health Children’s Hospital. Specifically, the Assistant HHS Secretary advised that involving a social worker in the process would help the hospital bill young transgender-identifying women’s double mastectomies to private insurance or Medicaid. At last year’s HHS Pride Summit, Levine once again claimed that gender transition procedures for minors are “literally suicide prevention care.”
Also last year, the U.S. Department of Justice moved to shield Levine from legal discovery in a lawsuit surrounding Alabama’s Vulnerable Child Protection Act, after the federal government involved itself in the lawsuit. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) said at the time, “It is not hyperbole to say that Admiral Levine is the leading public-facing official in the United States government when it comes to transitioning treatments for minors.” He added, “So if one were putting together a list of potential custodians at HHS concerning transitioning treatment for minors, Levine would be at the top.” However, Marshall’s request for legal discovery was blocked by the DOJ, which stated that Levine “is not herself [sic] conducting studies related to gender-affirming care nor is she [sic] employed at HHS as a researcher.”
While HHS continues promoting harmful and often-irreversible gender transition procedures for children, many Western nations have begun cautioning against the practice. Nations like France and the U.K. have explicitly warned against prescribing puberty blockers and hormone drugs to children — the U.K. even barred the practice legally. The U.K.’s Gender Identity Development Service at the Tavistock clinic was recently shut down after a government review found there was little to no psychological oversight and children were being rushed and even pressured to take puberty blockers and hormone drugs. Many European countries have cited a lack of valid evidence and research on the subject of gender transition procedures, especially for children.
The Washington Stand has reached out to HHS for comment on the two-page PDF but has not received a response.
S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.