Boston Children’s Hospital / JosephBarillari|Wikipedia|CC BY-SA 3.0
Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Oct 4, 2022 / 14:30 pm (CNA).
Three top medical groups have called on Biden’s justice department to investigate and prosecute activists and journalists who report on hospitals that perform irreversible gender surgeries on children.
The American Medical Association (AMA), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to launch an investigation on Monday in a letter saying the backlash against children’s hospitals that perform gender surgeries amounted to “attacks.”
“Children’s hospitals, academic health systems, and physicians are being targeted and threatened for providing evidence-based health care,” the letter read.
The letter claims that hospitals and medical staff who came under fire this summer for operating children’s gender clinics have faced harassment on social media and threats of violence in the form of emails, phone calls, and protestors. The letter also referred to a bomb threat that was later discovered to be false.
“The attacks are rooted in an intentional campaign of disinformation, where a few high-profile users on social media share false and misleading information targeting individual physicians and hospitals, resulting in a rapid escalation of threats, harassment, and disruption of care across multiple jurisdictions,” the letter states.
The groups urged the Department of Justice to “investigate” and “prosecute” anyone responsible for spreading “disinformation” about gender programs.
“We now urge your office to take swift action to investigate and prosecute all organizations, individuals, and entities responsible,” they wrote.
Children’s hospitals received backlash for their own content
One of the hospitals in question is Boston Children’s, which became infamous on social media earlier this summer when activists Libs of TikTok and Chris Elston, also known as “Billboard Chris,” highlighted the hospital’s own videos and website promoting its “first of a kind” gender clinic for kids.
Elston pointed out that the hospitals were coming under fire for their own published content.
“All I do is write the simple but horrific truth about what these clinics are doing to kids,” Elston told CNA.
“I’ve shared content which children’s hospitals themselves produced, and then tried to hide. It’s the words of their own doctors which cause the outrage.”
Back in August, Elston shared screenshots on Twitter of Boston Children’s website, which said it offered double mastectomies for children as young as 15 and sterilizing genital surgeries for patients as young as 17.
After the hospital’s own videos describing these procedures went viral online, Boston Children’s removed the reference to 17-year-olds and updated its website to say patients must be 18 years of age to qualify.
The hospital also deleted its entire YouTube playlist of at least 40 videos featuring surgeons describing the procedures.
Conservative activists such as Chris Rufo and Matt Walsh have also publicized the video playlists and websites of other children’s hospitals across the country that offer gender surgeries for children.
Rufo took to Twitter on Monday, saying: “If ‘gender-affirming care’ is so good, the activists and doctors who promote it — and profit from it — should defend their practices in the realm of public opinion.”
Former transgender teen Chloe Cole replied, “‘Gender affirming care’ is so great that we need to violate 1A rights to convince people of how great it is!!!”
Boston Children’s Hospital did not respond to CNA’s request for comment.
In the letter, the medical groups also called on tech companies, including Twitter, TikTok, and Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, to censor what they called “disinformation.”
“[We] ask the platforms to take bolder action when false information is shared about specific institutions and physicians” and “do more to prevent coordinated campaigns of disinformation,” the organizations wrote.
Elston told CNA he has already experienced these effects.
“Twitter is already censoring me, requiring people to enter a birthdate before viewing my account, and flagging all media as ‘sensitive content.’ They’ve also made my account unsearchable,” he said.
But Elston and other activists fighting against gender transitions for children are not deterred.
“Trying to silence us only amplifies our voices,” he said. “If the AMA and AAP want the outrage over gender clinics to cease, there is only one solution: stop transitioning kids.”
When CNA reached out for comment, the AMA referred to a joint press release put out by the three organizations in lieu of a comment.
AMA president Dr. Jack Resneck said in the release, “We condemn groups that promote hate-motivated intolerance and toxic misinformation that can lead to grave real-world violence and extremism and jeopardize patients’ health outcomes.”
“The AMA will continue to work with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials to develop and implement strategies that protect hardworking, law-abiding physicians and other health care workers from senseless acts of violence, abuse, and intimidation,” he added.
The AAP, CHA, and DOJ did not respond to CNA’s requests for comment.