President Biden’s administration has released a series of documents encouraging gender-reassignment surgery and hormone treatments for minors.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Population Affairs released a document Thursday titled “Gender Affirming Care and Young People.” The same day, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Child Traumatic Stress Network – another subset of the HHS – released a parallel document titled, “Gender-Affirming Care Is Trauma-Informed Care.”
The HHS documents describe what it calls appropriate treatments for transgender adolescents, 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.”
“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 OPA release states.
The NCTSN document is far longer than the brief outline provided by the OPA, but reiterates the same thought process and explanation for minors receiving alterations to their genitalia.
“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,” the NCTSN wrote in their release. “It may include evidence-based interventions such as puberty blockers and gender-affirming hormones.”
The NCTSN document goes out of its way to assure the public that the use of gender-affirming methods such as surgery and hormone replacement are not child abuse – most likely in response to recent policy decision in Texas that made such treatments illegal.
“Providing gender-affirming care is neither child maltreatment nor malpractice. The child welfare system in the US, 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. There is no scientifically sound research showing negative impacts from providing gender-affirming care,” the NCTSN added.
The White House released a video to coincide with the new policies featuring President Biden speaking on the issue of transgender children.
Biden told the parents of transgender children that “affirming your child’s identity is one of the most powerful things you can do to keep them safe.”
Biden also indicated that his administration would fight state laws that limit how transgender athletes may compete, after transgender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas drew national attention at the NCAA championships.
Such state laws are “simply wrong” and “hateful,” Biden said, adding that his administration is “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.”
Gov. Greg Abbott has called gender-affirming treatments “child abuse” and ordered Texas Child Protective Services to investigate any reported cases. Attorney General Ken Paxton also issued a legal opinion coming to the same conclusion, according to Houston Public Media.
In ordering the temporary injunction, District Court Judge Amy Clark Meachum said the investigations exceeded Abbott’s constitutional authority, noting that such instances had never been investigated before his order.