Pediatricians unite, call for end to gender-manipulation procedures for minors

Pediatricians unite, call for end to gender-manipulation procedures for minors

Pediatricians unite, call for end to gender-manipulation procedures for minors

While the LGBTQ+ community shouts loud in June, a group of American doctors are shouting back – and their united voices could carry an enormous positive impact for children.

A coalition within the American College of Pediatricians (ACP) released Thursday its "Doctors Protecting Children Declaration." The document encourages American medical associations like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Pediatric Endocrine Society and others – organizations that are currently promoting harmful gender-manipulation procedures for minors; procedures like puberty blockers, surgical options and more – to just say no.

"There's a list of them that are promoting these harmful protocols that they say are standards of care," Dr. Jill Simons, executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, said on Washington Watch Wednesday.

In spite of suspect research upon which to base conclusions, these organizations are "doubling down and insisting that these are the correct things that should be done," Simons said.

The complete declaration, all of it science-based, can be read at DoctorsProtectingChildren.org. It begins with four key tenets, one of them stating, "Medical decision-making should not be based upon an individual's thoughts or feelings."

Simons, Dr. Jill (ACP) Simons

Simons told show host Tony Perkins the goal of ACP is to present strong, united voices listing facts and research from multiple opposing studies with hopes to curb the trend.

"We at the American College of Pediatricians have been sounding the alarm for years about the harm that has been done to children in the name of standards of care," Simons said.

Pediatricians targeted by SPLC

In fact, because of the ACP's continued opposition to gender-manipulation procedures for minors – as well as its opposition to same-sex adoption and unlimited abortion – it has been deemed a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The ACP has been around since 2002. It's a national organization of pediatricians and other healthcare professionals dedicated to the health and well-being of children. It was founded by a group of pediatricians who pledge they will not be driven by the politics of the day, but will instead effort to produce sound policy based upon the best available research to assist parents and influence society in the endeavor of childrearing, its website states.

The ACP "recognizes that there are absolutes and scientific truths that transcend relative social considerations of the day," it says.

Many in the area of treatment for gender dysphoria among minors are missing those truths, but "the tide has been turning," Simons said. She cites two separate events in the last several months that she believes have helped lead to a change of heart for many.

One was the leaked documents from the files of the World Professional Association of Transgender Health that showed doubts, disagreement and concerns by doctors performing gender surgeries. The docs showed the docs struggling to define standards of care.

One debated topic was whether minors can truly give approval for gender procedures which will have lifelong effects. "What has been currently happening is, frankly, not what we need to be doing, ethically," one of the medical professionals told his colleagues.

Simons stated, in reference to the leaked documents: "They exposed the very doctors who are doing these things, their doubts, their concerns. So that was quite alarming."

More recently, Dr. Hillary Cass, of England's National Health Service, released the final report of her review gender care for minors just as NHS is expanding its gender services for children and youth nationwide. NHS has said it will consider the report as it considers future policy.

Cass said the system has failed young people "because the research isn't good enough, and we haven't got good data. The toxicity of the debate is perpetuated by adults, and that itself is unfair to the children who are caught in the middle of it. The children are being used as a football."

In the report, Cass revealed that experienced clinicians who reach opposing conclusions on gender procedures have been "dismissed and invalidated." She recommends early discussions between family and children which could include "psychological and psychopharmacological treatments" to manage stress.

"You would think such major standards of care would be based on very good studies. It's not. That was one thing that Dr. Cass shed light on and that we and others have been shedding light on," Simons explained.

U.S. doctors who continue to promote gender-manipulation procedures are basing their positions on a Netherlands study with weak evidence, Simons argued. The Amsterdam Cohort of Gender Dysphoria considered data collected from an Amsterdam clinic between 1997 and 2018. The study was published in 2023.

ACP supports parents and families

"We say no child is born in the wrong body. We know that children, if they're having discomfort with their biological sex but are allowed to go through puberty, will be comfortable in their biological sex, conservatively, at 85%. That's a huge number. Some studies even say more," Simons said.

"It breaks my heart that my profession has been captured by this ideology, and I want parents to know that there are good doctors out there who are looking out for what is best for their children. We're here, the American College of Pediatricians and our coalition, to support parents and to say, 'We're here for you.'"