US nurses were charged today with ‘failing children’ after calling for all restrictions on gender reassignment to be lifted.
The American Nursing Association said it “strongly opposes” any policies restricting access to trans health care in a statement released Wednesday.
It is the latest medical membership organization to get behind the controversial treatments. The American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have also spoken out against restricting gender-affirming care for minors.
Several Republican states are imposing age limits or tightening access to puberty blockers or surgery as the procedures become more common and a growing number of de-transitioners say they regret the irreversible procedures.
But the influential ANA, which has four million members, said the restrictions are “not based on reputable science.”
It added: “Nurses should always emphasize the protection of human rights, with a particular focus on…genderally diverse young people.”
Critics have criticized the ANA for what they called a “grotesque politicization” of medicine.
They said doctors and nurses should instead be “cautious” with trans treatments, which are often irreversible, in young people.
Jay Richards, of the right-wing Heritage Foundation, told DailyMail.com: “I absolutely think the ANA is letting kids down with this statement.
“It doesn’t cite scientific evidence, it’s a piece of political advocacy that I honestly suspect is the product of a small group of people in the organization who are advocates.”
Pictured above is the statement from the American Nurses Association. Critics have criticized them for ‘politicizing’ the issue and ‘failing’ children
Jay Richards, a director who focuses on gender ideology at the right-wing Heritage Foundation, said the ANA’s statement was politically motivated and unsupported by scientific evidence. Patrick Brown, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, said it’s important to be “cautious” when it comes to transgender care
Richards told DailyMail.com that ANA’s position “does not reflect the view of most members of the organization.”
“Americans should not think that this reflects the opinion of ordinary nurses,” he added.
“I fear this is a grotesque politicization of an issue that must be decided on rock-solid scientific grounds.”
There are no age limits for transgender treatment at the federal level.
Arizona is currently the only state to have banned transgender surgery before one’s 18th birthday.
How gender dysphoria in children has DOUBLE since 2017
The number of children with gender dysphoria has exploded in recent years, leading to the use of powerful drugs that block puberty.
About 300,000 children between the ages of 13 and 17 (1.4 percent) in the US identify as transgender, according to the most recent estimates from 2020.
That’s double the number estimated to be transgender in 2017 in an earlier report by the same researchers, although they used different estimates.
Connecticut and New York saw the number of children identifying as transgender in their states nearly quadruple in the past three years. Populations declined only in West Virginia, Tennessee, and New Jersey.
Children from 13 to 17 years are more than four times more likely identify as transgender (1.4 percent) than adults over the age of 65 (0.3 percent).
Some say the rise stems from an increased awareness of gender dysphoria — that is, emotional distress resulting from a mismatch between gender identity and biological sex — and an increase in acceptance in society.
Alabama and Arkansas imposed more far-reaching bans that also prevented youths under 18 from accessing puberty blockers and hormone therapy, but these have been suspended.
More than ten states — including Florida, Alabama and Texas — are blocking Medicaid from funding transgender health care.
There is concern about the long-term effects of the life-changing drugs and procedures.
More and more people are now coming forward to say they regret the transition.
Just yesterday, Chloe Cole, 18, came forward to say that advocating for care is like ‘trying to advocate for further experimentation on children’.
She was allowed to switch to a boy at age 13, before later regretting her decision at age 16.
President Joe Biden said this week that “it is wrong” to restrict access to the treatments, even among children.
In general, hormone therapy is not offered until a person is 16 years old, the Mayo Clinic says, in line with recommendations from the Endocrine Society.
But a study published earlier this week found that children as young as 14 are undergoing “top” surgery — in which breasts are removed or implanted.
It’s unclear how many people have “underside” surgery on their genitals.
The American Academy of Pediatrics supports transgender surgery but does not set age limits for treatments.
The UK’s public health service – the NHS – stopped offering transgender treatment to all young people under the age of 18 in July.
Swedish hospitals have also stopped prescribing puberty blockers to people under the age of 16.
Patrick Brown, a fellow at the Conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center, told DailyMail.com: “When you’re 14 or 15 years old, you think this will solve your problems in school or other problems.
“But these are potentially life-changing changes and medication and surgery.
“I think if we don’t step back and take a deep breath and ask for more evidence to get in, it’s failing in our responsibility as a society to stand up for the best interests of young people.
“When you’re talking about changing someone’s life in such a dramatic way, you have to be extremely careful.
“There are a lot of questions about social science that is pouted in the name of the social sciences and eventually becomes procedure.
Gender dysphoria is when a person’s personal gender does not match that of the body they were born in.
Doctors may initially offer counseling before prescribing puberty blockers, which will help prevent secondary sex characteristics.
This drug is only approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for stopping puberty when it starts abnormally early in children. For transgender children, it must currently be prescribed off-label.
Young people can also receive hormone therapy, which changes the balance of hormones in their bodies and triggers secondary sex characteristics.
By increasing testosterone levels, the drugs can encourage facial hair development and a deeper voice.
Increasing estrogen levels can lead to more rounded hips and a decreased ability to generate muscle.
A study Released last year by Stanford University scientists suggest that 13 percent of people who currently identify as transgender want the menopause.