Undercover Video: 14-Year-Olds ‘Mature Enough’ to ‘Reasonably’ Consent to Cross-Sex Hormones, Says Pediatrician
New undercover videos filmed by Project Veritas (PV) reveal transgender centers are pressing medical and surgical gender transition procedures upon minors who may later regret the “permanent effects,” claiming that 14-year-olds are “mature enough” to “make a reasonably informed decision.” According to a Part One of PV’s “Too Young” series released Wednesday, a major New York hospital is fudging the definition of consent, as well as medical guidelines created by a transgender advocacy group, to place 14-year-olds on cross-sex hormones.
In the video, an unnamed Project Veritas journalist (PVJ) posed as a parent seeking puberty blockers for a 10-year-old girl who identified as transgender. Their journey through several affirming medical offices finally yielded a telehealth consultation with Dr. John Steever, a specialist in pediatrics and adolescent medicine at Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center in New York City. According to his bio page, seven of his 19 areas of clinical focus deal with sexually transmitted infections, family planning, or LGBT services — nearly all of which presume his minor patients are sexually active. The conversation proceeded as follows:
Steever: “A 10-year-old — so I follow the WPATH guidelines, the World Professional Association of Transgender Health guidelines. And really what they would say is, the way to go at this age, age 10, would be something like a puberty blocker. Either Leuprorelin, which is an injection every three months, or Triptorelin, which is an injection every six months. And that really stops puberty pretty quickly so that no further development of the secondary sexual characteristics happens. So, things like, there’s no real chest development, there’s no menstruation, things like that.”
Right away, Dr. Quentin Van Meter, former president of the American College of Pediatricians, noticed a problem.
“We have long suspected that in these gender clinics here in the United States that things were going on that were not up to the … guidelines that are essentially all written from WPATH [World Professional Association of Transgender Health] playbook,” he said on “Washington Watch.” “They all say right up front that the most important thing that you do for the child is to evaluate their mental health and make sure that they are absolutely and utterly sound of mind, that they are not clouded with anxiety and depression.”
Dr. Steever did not evaluate the patient before recommending puberty blockers as “the way to go.” At another clinic featured in PV’s video, a staff worker also told PV’s undercover journalist that a prescription for puberty blockers “might be appropriate after one” visit.
The consultation continued to discuss the safety of puberty blockers:
Steever: “And it’s a safe medicine to use for up to three, four years or so.”
Then, after a cut in the footage:
Steever: “After that, there’s some question about bone acquisition.”
“There are no studies to show that is safe,” said Van Meter in PV’s video. In puberty, he added:
“The body changes significantly. The brain changes significantly. The organs, the ovaries, and testicles, change significantly. And, if you interrupt that in the middle of what is supposed to be true puberty, you’re taking away something that is necessary and truly physiologic in that child. We don’t know if that can be recovered if it’s blocked in the middle of adolescence. “
“Puberty is not a disease,” insisted Van Meter. “It’s not something you want to get rid of. You need it to move from a pre-reproductive state to a reproductive state. And, without it, you can’t get there.”
The Food and Drug Administration has not approved puberty-blocking drugs, known scientifically as “gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) substances,” for the purpose of forestalling a person’s normal progression of puberty. The FDA actually issued a warning label for puberty blockers last summer after six female minors aged 5-12 experienced severe symptoms including brain tumors, hallucinations, headache, vomiting, increased blood pressure, and visual impairments.
Returning to the consultation, Dr. Steever said gender transition treatments would progress when the child reached age 14.
Steever: “When you then get to age 14, is when I’ll consider some cross-gender hormones. 14 is a reasonable age. Most kids are mature enough to make a relatively informed decision.
The same point was elaborated in another clip:
Steever: “Cross-gender hormones, testosterone in this case, do have some permanent effects. So, I need the patient to be a little — to be mature enough to make a relatively informed decision. I get it that there are some 14-year-olds that are not, you know, mature. But, generally speaking, they usually are pretty good.”
“There’s no way an adolescent can wrap their head around infertility, complete lack of sexual function,” Van Meter responded on “Washington Watch.” “You ask any 14-year-old, they’re not going to want to have children. They’re very self-centered and can’t think past the tip of their nose.”
“We’re not just talking about mental health stability,” guest host Jody Hice, former congressman and FRC’s senior advisor to the president, agreed, “but just maturity of children. Children being able to make massive decisions like this, the consequences of which carry with them the rest of [their lives].”
In another clip, Dr. Steever explained:
Steever: “The science isn’t really settled about the best way to do that. I have plenty of people who will stay on the puberty blocker and add in testosterone to give them the puberty that they are seeking. And that also helps really ensure that the puberty they are not seeking, you know, chest development and stuff like that, doesn’t happen.
“These medications have not been thoroughly researched,” Dr. Jennifer Bauwens former clinical psychologist and now director of the Center for Family Studies at Family Research Council, told The Washington Stand. “The normal safety protocols that you would put on an experimental drug should be present here because it’s an experimental environment. They’ve moved right past the testing phase and right into the practice phase.”
Undeterred by these warning signs, the PVJ’s eager parent character asked,
PVJ: “Would the next step, or — is there a possibility that we could get him on puberty blockers soon?”
Steever: “Yeah. Yeah.”
The PV video also released footage of Dr. Daniel Metzger, a pediatric endocrinologist at British Columbia Children’s Hospital, discussing his rationale for permanently sterilizing children who cannot seriously consider the consequences. The logo for WPATH Global Educational Institute (GEI) appears in the background behind him. Said Metzger:
“Some of the Dutch researchers gave some data about young adults who have transitioned and [have] reproductive regret. Like, regret. And it’s there. And I don’t think any of that surprises us.”
“We try to talk about it, but most of the kids are nowhere in any kind of a brain space to really, really, really talk about this in a serious way. That’s always bothered me, but, you know, we still want the kids to be happy. Happier in the moment, right?”
According to Dr. Metzger, gender transition procedures have permanent consequences — sterilization — that children are not mentally able to take seriously and may come to regret as adults, but it’s still justified to perform these procedures because it might make the children “happier in the moment.”
“Can you imagine parenting that way?” said Bauwens on “Washington Watch.” “‘Well, I’m just going to give my child whatever they want because, you know, they’ll be happy in the moment. So I’m not going to put any boundaries around their life to keep them safe.’ Oh, gosh, what a mess.”
Bauwens further responded in a comment to The Washington Stand, “something inside of you knows what you’re doing is wrong.”
Joshua Arnold is a staff writer at The Washington Stand.