Biden Officials Fought to Loosen Transgender Surgery Guidelines for Minors, Docs Show

Washington-TND - June 28, 2024 6:11 am

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine(AP file)

Health officials within the Biden administration worked to convince medical experts to remove age restrictions for a variety of transgender procedures from their guidelines, according to documents filed in an Alabama court case.

Officials within the Department of Health and Human Services, the documents show, feared a minimum age requirement could invite political backlash. Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine, a transgender woman, urged the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) to remove proposed age limits from its updated guidelines.

Age guidelines drafted by WPATH in 2021 recommended an age requirement of at least 14 to receive hormone treatments, 16 for breast removal and facial surgeries and 17 for genital surgeries. These recommendations did not make it into the group’s final standards of care guidelines.

Levine’s chief of staff told a member of WPATH at the time she was “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,” according to the filings. Levine herself allegedly felt putting such in restrictions in place would “affect access to care for trans youth and maybe adults, too.”

Apparently the situation in the U.S.A. is terrible and she and the Biden administration worried that having ages in the document will make matters worse,” a WPATH employee wrote, according to the filings. “She asked us to remove them.”

The filing is being used to support an Alabama ban on transgender surgeries for minors. Psychologist James Cantor submitted the documents and is currently fighting to be allowed to testify in the lawsuit.

READ MORE | Trans health group fought study analyzing ‘gender affirming care’ for children, docs show

The news coincides with a Supreme Court decision to hear an appeal from the Biden administration that looks to block state bans on transgender surgeries.

The National Desk (TND) reached out to the Department of Health and Human Services for comment, but did not immediately receive a response. This story will be updated if a response is received.


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