MUTILATED TODDLERS: Biden administration pushing for age limits to be dropped from transgender surgery guidelines
06/27/2024 // Cassie B. // Views

A top health official for the administration of President Joe Biden previously worked to convince an international transgender health nonprofit made up of so-called medical experts to drop age limit guidelines for various risky transgender medical procedures, including life-changing gender surgery for minors.

This is according to an unsealed court document, which shows how Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine pressured the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) in 2021 to leave out the ages in its guidelines.

The first draft of the international group’s guidelines recommended implementing a minimum age of 14 to undergo hormone treatment, while the recommended minimum age for a mastectomy for biological women was 15, breast augmentation and facial surgery was 16 and genital surgery was 17.

Levine, who is transgender, believed that listing the ages would drive further political opposition to these dangerous treatments and might be used by conservative legislators to enact laws with age restrictions equal to or higher than the WPATH's recommendations.

In an internal email, one member of WPATH wrote: “We sent the document to Admiral Levine … She like[s] the SOC-8 [Standards of Care Version 8] very much but she was very concerned that having ages (mainly for surgery) will affect access to health care for trans youth and maybe adults too.”

They added that she had the support of the Biden administration in her request, writing: “Apparently the situation in the USA is terrible and [Levine] and the Biden administration worried that having ages in the document will make matters worse.”

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Another official, Sarah Boateng, who was Levine’s chief of staff at the time, was also referenced in one of the emails, whose author noted: “She is confident, based on the rhetoric she is hearing in D.C., and from what we have already seen, that these specific listings of ages, under 18, will result in devastating legislation for trans care. She wonders if the specific ages can be taken out.”

Other officials made similar requests, and their efforts ultimately appear to have been successful as the age minimums were not included in the final draft of their standards of care released in September of 2022. One WPATH member told Levine directly in an email that they would make the changes. (Related: Nashville school shooter was a violent trans girl who said she'd "kill" for puberty blockers – manifesto finally released.)

Some states are trying to protect minors from risky, irreversible procedures they might regret

The emails were released as part of litigation challenging a law in Alabama that outlaws certain types of gender-related procedures. In a filing, psychologist Dr. James Cantor asserted that the association “capitulated and removed the text in violation of its own process despite the preference of its own committee members to retain the age limits.”

The suit was filed on behalf of a group of transgender children and their families by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Alabama is one of several states that have passed laws making performing sex changes on children a felony.

Cantor, who is critical of transgender procedures for adolescents and is supporting Alabama in the case, filed the email excerpts as evidence suggesting that the group made its decisions based on politics instead of science. The plaintiffs in the case are trying to stop Cantor from testifying.

Gender transition care for adolescents is highly controversial given the lack of long-term safety evidence and the fact that their brains have not fully developed. Several European countries, including Britain and Sweden, have recently added new age restrictions on gender medications and will only allow surgeries for those aged 18 and older.

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