Rachel Levine, a trans woman assistant secretary at Health and Human Services who President Joe Biden promoted to a four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, is pushing puberty blockers and sex-change surgeries as “medically necessary” for children, despite pushback from doctors and in spite of a study showing they may increase teen suicides.
Levine, herself a pediatrician, said this week that sex assignment surgery and puberty blockers were “lifesaving, medically necessary, age appropriate, and a critical tool,” according to a short video clip posted by the Republican National Committee:
Biden official Rachel Levine: Sex reassignment surgery and puberty blockers for KIDS is “lifesaving, medically necessary, age appropriate, and a critical tool” pic.twitter.com/OwSOA3cjj8
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 27, 2022
But a new report from the Heritage Foundation “directly challenges claims from pro-transgender clinical organizations, activists, and the Biden administration that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones reduce suicides of minors who believe they are the opposite sex,” Breitbart News reported earlier this month.
The outlet notes:
The 25-page report, written by Senior Research Fellow Dr. Jay Greene, analyzes existing studies about the effectiveness of these treatments in preventing youth suicides. Greene found, similar to a recent report published by Florida Medicaid, that current research “fail[s] to show a causal relationship and [has] been poorly executed.”
The author took his analysis a step further, conducting research with what he called a “superior research design.” He ultimately found “that easing access to puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones by minors without parental consent increases suicide rates.”
“U.S. policymakers are seeking to make it easier for minors to access puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones based on the claim that doing so reduces suicide risk,” the report notes. “Studies finding that ‘gender-affirming’ interventions prevent suicide fail to show a causal relationship and have been poorly executed.
“A superior research design shows that easing access to puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones by minors without parental consent increases suicide rates,” the report added.
I want to tell everyone what they took from us, what irreversible really means, and what that reality looks like for us.
No one told me any of what I’m going to tell you now.
— TullipR/Ритчи 🦎🌈♂ (@TullipR) June 13, 2022
Greene examined states that have provisions allowing minors to access routine medical care without the consent of a parent, policies that “were developed for reasons that have nothing to do with gender identity.”
His analysis “exploits this natural policy experiment” to compare suicide rates of people ages 12 to 23 in states that require parental consent for medical care and states that don’t require it.
Greene specifically examined suicides that occurred between 1999 and 2020 within the specified age group because those people entered puberty between 2010 and 2020, when puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones first became available as a “gender-related treatment” in the U.S., the report said.
“If making it easier for minors to access puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones is protective against suicide, one should expect the frequency of youth suicide to be lower in states that have a provision allowing minors to get these drugs without parental consent after 2010,” Greene posited.
“There should be no difference in trends in the suicide rate among young people based on whether states have a provision allowing minors to access health care without parental consent before 2010,” he added.
But his model found “strong evidence for the claim that suicides among young people have increased significantly since 2010 in states that have a policy allowing minors to access routine health care without parental consent.”
If there’s one thing you read today it should be this. Heartbreaking. pic.twitter.com/6wyj37JRtw
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) June 5, 2022
Many such stories coming. Especially worrying are the stories we’ll never hear because the tellers committed suicide over this shit. Absolutely unforgivable.
— Lydia Leitermann 💐 (@sourpatchlyds) June 5, 2022
“That increase in suicide rates accelerated around 2015. Prior to 2010, whether a state had such a policy or not had no significant effect on the trend in suicide rates among those ages 12 to 23,” according to the report, which added:
The timing of the increase in suicide rates only among young people, only after puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are introduced and used widely, and only in states where minors could access those medical interventions without parental consent raises serious concerns about their effects on suicide risks.
Last month, Fox News reported that several doctors and therapists pushed back against Levine’s recent assertion that “there is no argument” about gender-affirming care among healthcare professionals who specialize in children and adolescents. Sadly, the report noted many of them are afraid to speak out publicly over fears they’ll be canceled from their jobs.