The United States Department of Health and Human Services has expressed support for using taxpayer funds to cover the cost of body mutilating "gender transition" surgeries for minors.
In written responses to Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill., U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra said that the Biden administration supports using taxpayer dollars to cover the costs of elective body-deforming surgeries on youth, such as mastectomies and vaginoplasties. His responses were submitted Tuesday to the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor Tuesday.
Becerra responded to a series of questions inquiring as to whether the administration believes “taxpayers should pay for chemical castration and sex-change operations” and if “doctors should be forced to perform sex change operations on minor children without their parents’ consent.” He responded, “The Department follows the law, and is working to ensure that all patients, everywhere can access care free from discrimination, stigma and barriers.”
“The Biden-Harris Administration supports the upcoming release of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care Version 8 and believes that all children and adults should be afforded life-saving, medically necessary care,” he continued. “Payers, both public and private, should cover treatments which medical experts have determined to be medically necessary.”
Miller reacted to Becerra’s responses to her questions, published by The Daily Caller Wednesday, in a statement Thursday: “Biden’s HHS secretary has now confirmed that the Biden administration is using taxpayer dollars to push young children to have sex change operations and take dangerous chemicals that do permanent damage to their bodies,” she said. “The Biden administration even supports allowing these procedures to occur without parental consent.”
“American taxpayers should never fund puberty blockers and sex change surgeries on minor children,” she added. As Miller alluded to, Becerra also suggested that doctors should have the ability to perform sex change surgeries on minors without their parents’ consent.
In response to a question about whether doctors should be able to perform gender transition surgeries on minors in the absence of parental consent and a separate question asking if performing such procedures on children as young as 12 years old constituted child abuse, Becerra quoted from an HHS fact sheet titled “Gender Affirming Care and Young People.” Becerra’s reply did not answer the questions directly, instead insisting that so-called “gender affirming care is a supportive form of healthcare.”
“It consists of an array of services that may include medical, surgical, mental health and non-medical services for transgender and nonbinary people. Gender-affirming care is patient-centered and treats individuals holistically, aligning their outward, physical traits with their gender identity,” the fact sheet, as cited by Becerra, explained.
In his response to Miller’s inquiry about whether gender transition surgeries on minors amounted to child abuse, Becerra prefaced his direct quotation from the fact sheet by stressing that “Medical care is between a patient, their family and their health care provider.”
He added, “The department is focused on ensuring that care is not stigmatized or denied based on a youth’s gender identity as consistent with the law.”
Becerra reiterated that “care is between a patient, their family and their health care provider” as he addressed Miller’s question about whether doctors should be able to perform sex change operations on children without parents’ consent.
Most of Miller’s line of questioning stems from the Biden administration’s newly released guidance that Becerra cited in his responses, which she described as “shocking.”
The guidance, compiled by HHS’ Office of Population Affairs, touts “gender-affirming care” for trans-identified youth as “crucial to overall health and well-being as it allows the child or adolescent to focus on social transitions and can increase their confidence while navigating the healthcare system.” It maintains that “medical and psychosocial gender affirming healthcare practices have been demonstrated to yield lower rates of adverse mental health outcomes, build self-esteem, and improve overall quality of life for transgender and gender diverse youth.”
Examples of so-called affirming care identified in the fact sheet include “puberty blockers,” characterized as the “reversible” use of “certain types of hormones to pause pubertal development,” and “gender-affirming surgeries” consisting of the creation of “male-typical shape” or “enhanced breasts” and/or “surgery on genitals or reproductive organs.”
Miller condemned the “gender-affirming care” promoted by the HHS as “dangerous chemicals” and “sex-change operations that permanently end their ability to ever have children.”
The American College of Pediatricians has listed “osteoporosis, mood disorders, seizures, cognitive impairment and, when combined with cross-sex hormones, sterility” as possible side effects of puberty blockers. It has also warned that cross-sex hormones can cause “an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, blood clots and cancers across their lifespan.”
While the Biden administration declined to classify gender transition services for minors as a form of child abuse, the state of Texas has explicitly assigned that label to such procedures. Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Jaime Masters published a letter last summer stating that “genital mutilation of a child through reassignment surgery is child abuse, subject to all rules and procedures pertaining to child abuse.”
The state’s Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a formal opinion earlier this year coming to the same conclusion, namely that gender transition surgeries for minors “can legally constitute child abuse under several provisions of” Texas law. Three other states have banned puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and/or genital mutilating gender reassignment surgery for minors using the legislative process: Alabama, Arizona and Arkansas.
Most recently, the Florida Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine voted to ban the prescribing of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children and body-mutilating "sex-change" surgeries for youth. President Joe Biden condemned state efforts to ban children from obtaining sex change operations as “wrong” during a presidential forum hosted by NowThisNews earlier this year.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: email@example.com