U.S. Department of Justice officials issued a statement Wednesday regarding the alleged “large volume” of violent threats made to clinicians and staff members at Boston Children’s Hospital, which has recently been accused of performing genital surgeries on patients under the age of 18 as part of so-called “gender-affirming care.”
The hospital, which touts itself as having the nation’s “first pediatric and adolescent transgender health program,” has denied such accusations, claiming in a statement that “age 18 is used to reflect the standard age of majority for medical decision making,” Fox News reports.
After the hospital emailed media outlets regarding the threats targeting its personnel through hostile internet activity, phone calls, and harassing emails, the Justice Department has warned it will not “sit idly by and allow hate-based criminal activity to continue.”
“Today’s news about the alleged threats directed at Boston Children’s Hospital transgender health program is disturbing to say the least,” U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins said in a statement.
“Children deserve an opportunity to thrive and grow as their own authentic selves,” Rollins continued. “Parents/guardians and health care providers who support them in that journey should be allowed to do so free of threats and harassment.”
Rollins said the Justice Department would ensure equal protection of transgender people under the law.
“While free speech is indeed the cornerstone of our great nation, fear, intimidation and threats are not,” Rollins said.
Attorney General Merrick Garland recently said the agency views “confronting hate crimes as both our legal and our moral obligation.”
The children’s medical center posted a video promoting hysterectomies for girls who want to transition out of a female body.
In the video, pediatric gynecologist Frances Grimstad, MD, MS — who specializes in transgender reproductive health at Boston Children’s Hospital — explained what a “gender-affirming hysterectomy” entailed. The video quickly spread on Twitter as many people were outraged that a children’s hospital would promote irreversible procedures that render the patient unable to bear children.
The outrage sparked across social media prompted hospital officials to work with law enforcement to ensure the protection of its staff and patients.
“We condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms, and we reject the false narrative upon which they are based,” the hospital said.
A study published in March and approved by the institutional review board of Boston Children’s Hospital between January 2017 to August 2020 claims the hospital’s Center for Gender Surgery performed 177 chest surgeries, of which 36.7% were on patients younger than 18 — with the youngest being 15.
It also performed 27 genital surgeries, including 5 vaginoplasties during that time period.
“The Center for Gender Surgery (CfGS) at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) was the first pediatric center in the United States to offer gender-affirming chest surgeries for individuals over 15 years old and genital surgeries for those over 17 years of age,” the report reads.
Fox News Digital reported that the hospital did not respond when asked if such surgeries were performed on children younger than 18 and where the gender surgery center gets its funding.