The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released guidance Thursday endorsing gender reassignment procedures for children.
The documents, “Gender Affirming Care and Young People” released by the Office of Population Affairs (OPA) and “Gender-Affirming Care Is Trauma-Informed Care” released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), support a wide range of procedures including surgeries performed on adolescents.
The guidance goes beyond social affirmation and the use of puberty blockers, which the OPA document describes as “reversible” treatments, and extends to treatments that cannot be completely reversed, including hormone therapy and “gender-affirming surgeries.”
“Today, the Biden Administration announced new actions to support the mental health of transgender children, remove barriers that transgender people face accessing critical government services, and improve the visibility of transgender people in our nation’s data,” the White House said in a statement on the guidance Thursday.
The NCTSN document says that “gender affirming care” might involve “evidence-based interventions such as puberty blockers and gender-affirming hormones” and also includes “access to opportunities that all children should have, such as playing team sports, safely using bathrooms in their schools and other public places, and positive relationships with supportive adults.”
Gender identity issues have arisen with the participation of transgender swimmer Lia Thomas in the NCAA swimming championships, allegations surrounding Loudoun County Public Schools covering up a sexual assault by a “gender fluid” student, and Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signing an executive order directing the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate situations where some gender reassignment procedures are used.
“The Texas government’s attacks against transgender youth and those who love and care for them are discriminatory and unconscionable,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement earlier this month.
Pro-family organizations have claimed that schools have been actively deceiving parents and secretly carrying out initial stages of the gender transition process, prompting litigation between parents and public school districts.
“[T]he Biden administration has adopted a policy encouraging harm to children, even funding it,” Ryan Bangert, senior counsel and vice president for legal strategy at Alliance Defending Freedom, said in a statement shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation. “This extreme policy will leave a legacy of pain and regret that no child should have to endure.”