The Biden administration has recently released a series of documents encouraging hormone treatments and gender-reassignment surgery for minors.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Population Affairs (OPA) released, “Gender Affirming Care and Young People” document.
On the same day, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), a subset of the HHS, also released a document titled, “Gender-Affirming Care is Trauma-Informed Care.”
Contained in the HHS documents are descriptions of treatments it calls “appropriate” for underage transgender children, including: “’Top’ surgery — to create male-typical chest shape or enhance breasts;” and “’Bottom’ surgery — surgery on genitals or reproductive organs, facial feminization or other procedures.”
The OPA release stated, “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.”
The NCTSN document states, “For transgender and nonbinary children and adolescents, early gender-affirming care is 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 may include evidence-based interventions such as puberty blockers and gender-affirming hormones.”
The document also goes to lengths to assure the public that the use of gender-affirming methods such as hormone replacement and surgery are not child abuse, possibly in response to recent policy decisions in Texas that made such treatments illegal.
“Providing gender-affirming care is neither child maltreatment nor malpractice. The child welfare system in the U.S. charged with “improv(ing) the overall health and well-being of our nation’s children and families, should not be used to deny care or separate families working to make the best decisions for their children’s well-being,” the documents state.
“There is no scientifically sound research showing negative impacts from providing gender-affirming care,” said the NCTSN document.
Administration vows to oppose states
To coincide with the release of the documents, the White House released a video featuring President Biden speaking on the issue of transgender children.
In the video, President Biden told parents of transgender children that “affirming your child’s identity is one of the most powerful things you can do to keep them safe.”
The president indicated that his administration would oppose any state laws that may limit how transgender athletes may compete. This follows transgender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas triumphing in the NCAA championships.
Biden added that such state laws are “hateful” and “simply wrong.” The president expanded the stance by his administration of “standing up for transgender equality in the classroom, on the playing field, at work, in our military, in our housing and health care systems — everywhere.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has ordered Texas Child Protective Services to investigate any reported cases and branded gender-affirming treatments “child abuse.” According to Houston Public Media, Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a legal opinion in which he came to the same conclusion.
Earlier this month a Texas judge blocked the state from investigating parents who help their children transition by providing medical treatments.
District Court Judge Amy Clark Meachum said the investigators exceeded Abbott’s constitutional authority. In issuing a temporary injunction, the judge noted that such instances had never been investigated before Abbott’s order.