Pennsylvania has spent more than $20 million on transgender surgeries, hormone treatments, and other services for children and young adults since 2015, newly released public records show.
The state spent more than $19.8 million in tax dollars on puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and transgender surgeries for children and 18-year-olds between 2015 and July 28 of this year through state insurance programs, according to records provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to the Pennsylvania Family Institute, a nonprofit representing family values.
That includes the nearly $14,000 per day the state spent last year on transgender medical services for youth through these state insurance programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the nonprofit said.
Estimates would put the total now over $20 million, according to the nonprofit.
“This shocking report reveals Pennsylvania taxpayers are being forced to fund harmful drugs and surgeries on children, sending millions of dollars every year to carry out detrimental and irreversible procedures upon minors,” said Michael Geer, Pennsylvania Family Institute President.
The numbers also appear to show that Pennsylvania has seen a more than 8,200% funding increase for these transgender services since 2015.
Early data appear to show that funding is continuing to increase as well, the nonprofit said.
“This is state-sponsored child mutilation that taxpayers are being forced to fund,” Geer said. “Not one penny of funding should be used to advance this type of harmful activity.”
At least three Pennsylvania children’s hospitals offer “gender-affirming” medical services — Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and PennState Health Children’s Hospital, although not all offer every service.
Over the last few years, critics have sounded the alarm about the permanent effects of both gender hormone treatments and surgical procedures, especially on children.
Both puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones come with serious health risks. Puberty blockers can affect bone growth and density and cause sexual dysfunction, voice damage, and infertility, among other issues. Cross-sex hormones can cause infertility, deadly blood clots, heart attacks, increased cancer risks of the breasts and ovaries, liver dysfunction, worsening psychological illness, and other serious conditions.
The number of gender surgeries nearly tripled in the U.S. from 2016 to 2019, according to an analysis published Wednesday in JAMA Network Open. In 2016, there were about 4,550 procedures, and that number spiked to around 13,000 in 2019.
Hundreds of girls in the U.S., some as young as 12, have gotten elective, gender-related double mastectomies to remove their healthy breasts over the last few years.
Meanwhile, it is more popular than ever for youth to adopt new gender identities. An estimated 300,000 minors aged 13 to 17 identified as transgender as of last year.