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Children's National Hospital denies performing gender transition surgeries on minors

Children's National Hospital
The Children's National Medical Center is pictured in Washington, DC, on September 16, 2009. |

Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., has refuted newly released audio that purports to show hospital officials affirming that the institution performs gender transition surgeries on teenagers.

Chaya Raichik, who runs the popular Twitter account using the alias LibsofTikTok, released audio documenting phone conversations she claims were with multiple officials at Children's National on her website Thursday that she believes suggest the hospital provides "gender-affirming hysterectomies" to minors. 

Children's National Hospital denied the allegations in a statement to The Christian Post, insisting that "We do not and have never provided gender-affirming surgery for anyone under the age of 18."

"We do not provide hormone therapy to children before puberty begins. [Care] is individualized for each patient and always involves families making decisions in coordination with a team of highly trained pediatric specialists," the statement reads.

"None of the people who were secretly recorded by this activist group deliver care to our patients. The information in the recording is not accurate. To reiterate, we do not and have never performed gender-affirming hysterectomies for anyone under the age of 18."

The hospital stressed that it "is committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for all and to serving our LGBTQ+ patients and families in the full spectrum of care."

Raichik posed as a mother of a trans-identified girl seeking hospitals that perform "gender-affirming hysterectomies," in other words, removing the uterus of a girl who identifies as a boy.

"I've been in touch with quite a few hospitals and a lot of them, they said they won't do it for my 16-year-old," Raichik said in a phone conversation with an alleged hospital staff member. "Then I was told that this hospital might and I also saw it on your website. So, if you guys do do it for 16-year-olds, I would be happy to come for a consultation or whatever it takes."

When the hospital worker offered to transfer Raichik to another line, she stressed, "I just want to know if you guys do service that age before obviously, before coming all the way for an in-person consult and going through all the paperwork and everything." The hospital worker informed Raichik that "it depends" because "each department's different," noting that "some departments cut off at 18."

Raichik reiterated that her daughter was 16, prompting the hospital worker to respond, "they're in the clear." The hospital worker transferred Raichik to the hospital's surgery department, where she once again inquired about the hospital's provision of "gender-affirming hysterectomies."

After Raichik told the second hospital worker that her daughter had already had "top surgery," referring to the removal of the breasts, the employee offered to transfer her to the "GYN nurse line." Raichik sought clarification that "they would do it for that age" and asked, "is it a common procedure that you guys do for that age?"

"Yes. We have all different types of age groups that come in for that," she replied. Raichik asked if the hospital knew, "what's the youngest age you would do it on?"

The hospital worker said, "I'm not sure," while acknowledging, "I have seen younger kids." She declined to elaborate on the exact minimum age required for the hospital to perform a hysterectomy on a child due to HIPAA concerns but answered in the affirmative when Raichik asked if children younger than 16 can "get the gender-affirming hysterectomy surgery."

Raichik provided a screenshot of a now-modified webpage giving information about the hospital's "Specialized Gynecology Care for Children and Teens," which she said prompted her to investigate the hospital further by making the phone call.

The webpage identified "gender-affirming care and gender-affirming hysterectomy" as one of several services "available for patients between the ages of 0-21."

The webpage, as it currently appears, excludes "Gender-affirming medical care" and "gender-affirming hysterectomy" from the list of services the hospital provides. The previous version of the website remains available for viewing in the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.

Raichik previously claimed that Boston Children's Hospital provided "gender-affirming hysterectomies" and other body mutilating surgeries for children under 18.

She shared an archived screenshot of the Boston Children's Hospital Center for Gender Surgery's website outlining the eligibility requirements for a vaginoplasty, which involves the surgical inversion of a penis to create a synthetic vagina. The website now states that one "must be at least 18 years old" to obtain the procedure.

A Boston Children's Hospital webpage highlighting the hospital's "approach to transgender reproductive health" has been amended to clarify that "gender-affirming hysterectomies" and other similar surgeries are only performed on those 18 years old and older.

The website previously didn't mention an age requirement, as indicated by a screenshot posted by Raichik on social media. 

A handful of states have passed laws banning gender transition procedures for minors: Alabama, Arizona and Arkansas. Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Jaime Masters classified gender transition surgeries for minors as a form of child abuse.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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