Transgender ideologues should not set national medical standards

Imagine the Environmental Protection Agency decides that instead of setting air pollution standards, it will outsource monitoring to an industry group called the “Emission Standards Coalition,” which, despite its innocuous name, is funded and staffed in entirely by coal companies. Or, closer to home, imagine the aldermen in your sleepy suburb decide that, from now on, all speed limits will be set by the local auto racing club.

We would all be quick to oppose it, haranguing the government for abdicating its most basic responsibility to the citizens. “Foxes shouldn’t guard chicken coops,” we said. Rules intended for public health and safety should not become tools to promote special interests and profit seekers. Lifting pollution and speed limits may benefit Ferrari and factory owners, but the general public will have to deal with the resulting damage.

As implausible as these examples may seem, something like this is happening in health care. Along the new frontier of “transgender health,” billionaire-backed ideologues and foundations are setting novel and even destructive “standards of care,” all with the blessing of the government.

Earlier this year, President Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a proposed rule under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. Behind its more than 190 pages and its innocent-sounding name (“Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities”) hides a radical agenda that would change the nation’s health care in alarming ways.

HHS is proposing new national standards for what it calls “gender-affirming care,” requiring doctors to provide these services and insurance plans to cover them. What exactly is “gender affirming care”? HHS never really says. Its proposed rule does not define the term or identify objective standards, such as age limits, that might apply. Instead, HHS incorporates guidance from medical societies and a group calling itself the “World Professional Association for Transgender Health” or WPATH.

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WPATH is not a government agency. It is a trans activist group. Its president is Dr. Marci Bowers, a man who identifies as a woman and self described “a pioneer in the field of Gender Affirming Surgery” with her own transgender reality show, “Sex Change Hospital”. WPATH staff seems to have been borrowed largely from Veritas, a for-profit company that performs marketing and public relations for medical societies. WPATH sponsors include the Arcus Foundation (“one of the largest LGBT funders in the world”)), the Soros-backed Open Society Foundations, and the Tawani Foundation, headed by transgender billionaire Jennifer Pritzker.

‘Standards’ Reflect Radical Backers

In 2018, the Tawani Foundation gave WPATH $200,000 to develop his so-called “Standards of Care”, a gift that earned Pritzker the WPATH”Philanthropy Award.” And Pritzker is strongly committed to trans causes. While the foundation has been funneling money to groups like WPATH and the National Center for Transgender Equality, its for-profit arm, Tawani Enterprises, is making financial bets in medical devices, implants and surgical cutting tools. The transgender surgery market is expected to grow by billions dollars over the next decade, a careful observer grades that “it is difficult to avoid the impression of complementarity” here.

It is not surprising, then, that the WPATH standards that HHS hopes to sign into law reflects the radical views of its sponsors. On the WPATH list of “treatments” are mutilating surgeries (mastectomies, vaginectomies, penectomies), “breast ties,” “genital puckering,” “cosmetic procedures” such as “body contouring,” and “voice surgery.” , and drugs that block puberty for boys. There is no minimum age requirement for these procedures. WPATH even calls for “psychotherapy” for pre-teen “gender diverse children” to “explore their gender”, with parents involved “as needed” and excluded if their participation is “contraindicated”. WPATH says that it is “committed to defending” “social and political climates that ensure social tolerance, equality and the full rights of citizenship.”

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This is not medicine. It is the destruction of healthy bodies, the indoctrination of children, and the dissolution of parental rights. It is a radical sexual ideology disguised as science.

rest of the world back

Even calling the WPATH guide “standards of care” is misleading. As the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine Explain, a true standard of care “is a treatment approach that all reasonable providers would use in a particular clinical situation,” but no such consensus exists for so-called “gender-affirming care,” especially for children. And the increasing harm that this form of “care” is doing to both children and adults is well documented. That is why countries around the world are going back of him, even as the HHS bureaucrats are bizarrely doubling down.

WPATH published its latest guidance in its “partner” journal, the newly renamed “International Journal of Transgender Health.” between his authors is Susie Green, who heads the UK-based group Mermaids, which focuses on “gender diverse children”. Green is not a medical professional. She spent several years as an IT consultant before becoming famous. help your 16 year old son undergo transgender surgery in Thailand. Another contributor to the WPATH guide is Laura A. Jacobsa self-described genderqueer “activist” and “heretic” whose “psychotherapy specialties” include “LGBTQIA+” teens,bdsm”, “kink” and “sexwork”.

Not surprisingly, a group of well-funded activists can band together, give their glossy PDFs a semblance of academic credibility, and market their views as a new sexual orthodoxy. The shocking thing is that they have managed to capture the federal bureaucracy. For HHS to uncritically promote WPATH, requiring shoddy science and destructive medicine to be law, is an alarming development that deserves further scrutiny.

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Ultimately, this is an illegal endeavor. HHS has no power to override states and the medical profession by imposing “standards of care” for the entire country. HHS also cannot impose these standards on health professionals in violation of their ethical and religious convictions. And trying to delegate these tasks to ideologues backed by billionaires without democratic accountability is even worse. Just as racing enthusiasts don’t set speed limits and coal companies don’t set pollution rules, transgender activists shouldn’t set national medical standards.


Douglas G. Wilson Jr. is the executive director of the Catholic Benefit Association and a founding member of the board of directors of the Catholic Alliance for Health Care Leadership.