Profitable “gender-affirming” procedures, including permanently disfiguring surgeries, have been aggressively marketed by some doctors and hospitals to gender dysphoric youth.
After shocking marketing materials for such controversial “care” made headlines this year, the public pushback has led at least one hospital to pause procedures and another to revise policies, while some legislatures took to curbing the procedures.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) was exposed last month for its gender-change offerings, including double-mastectomies for minors, in a Twitter thread from reporter and commenter Matt Walsh.
In one video Walsh shared, a hospital employee can be seen boasting about how much money the hospital makes for providing the treatments, which include cross-sex hormones, puberty blockers and “gender-affirming” surgeries.
The hospital has now paused all gender transition surgeries for minors following the explosive report by Walsh and a letter from state legislators demanding the practices be halted.
“We are pausing gender affirmation surgeries on patients under age 18 while we complete this review, which may take several months,” VUMC stated in a letter. “In addition, we understand this issue is likely to be taken up by the General Assembly in its next legislative session. As always, we will assure that VUMC’s programs comply with any new requirements which may be established as a part of Tennessee law.”
The letter says an average of five minor patients per year receive transgender care, and “all were at least 16 years of age” and had parental consent.
“We appreciate VUMC’s response to the deep concerns expressed and the specific requests made by the Tennessee House GOP Caucus,” state Rep. Jason Zachary told the Daily Caller. “There is still much work to be done related to the gender disfiguration of minors. Legislation banning this abuse will be a top priority for the House GOP when we reconvene for session in January.”
Other states’ legislatures have already taken action.
In Oklahoma, Gov. Kevin Stitt recently signed a bill that bans gender reassignment treatments for children at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital.
“By signing this bill today, we are taking the first step to protect children from permanent gender transition surgeries and therapies,” Stitt said in a statement. “It is wildly inappropriate for taxpayer dollars to be used for condoning, promoting, or performing these types of controversial procedures on healthy children.”
The state of California has taken a wildly different approach, making the state a “sanctuary” for children seeking “gender-affirming” care, even if it means denying the rights of their parents.
Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsome signed legislation allowing the state to take “temporary emergency jurisdiction” over children who travel to the state for “gender-affirming” drugs and operations, essentially stripping parents in other states of their authority over their own children.
“States across the country are passing laws to demonize the transgender community, especially transgender youth and their parents,” Newsom claimed in a statement about the bill.
Other entities have made their stances less clear, such as Harvard-affiliated Boston Children’s Hospital, which faced claims this year it rushed minor children into life-altering sex change surgeries.
The hospital had written guidance declaring males as young as 17 eligible for a surgical procedure called a vaginoplasty, which is the surgical construction of female reproductive genitalia from existing male genitalia. That guidance has since been deleted.
The hospital also came under fire for offering “gender-affirming” hysterectomies to 17-year-olds and permitting adolescents as young as 15 to undergo “top surgery,” a euphemism for a double mastectomy.
Once again, following public uproar the hospital removed that information from its page on “gender-affirming” care. It has since been altered to read, “To qualify for gender affirmation at Boston Children’s Hospital, you must be at least 18 years old for phalloplasty or metoidioplasty and for vaginoplasty.”
The hospital also has just removed a controversial video from its website that claims infants know they are transgender in the womb.
“Most of the patients we have in the clinic actually know their gender, usually around the age of puberty,” psychologist Dr. Kerry McGregor claims in the controversial video. “But a good portion of children do know as early as – seemingly – from the womb.
“And they will usually express their gender identity as very young children, some as soon as they can talk. … Kids know very, very early. We see a variety of young children all the way down to ages 2 and 3, and usually up to the age of 9.”
Some critics wonder whether the deletion of such videos and editing of related hospital webpages really indicate policy changes or amount to an attempt to quietly continue the controversial practices.
“They now castrate, sterilize, and mutilate minors as well as adults, while apparently taking steps to hide this activity from the public view,” Walsh said of VUMC. “This is what ‘health care’ has become in modern America.”