On Thursday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) grilled President Biden's nominee for assistant health secretary, Rachel Levine, over whether minor children should be allowed to make irreversible, life-changing decisions over their gender.
Levine, a transgender biological male and former pediatrician, refused to answer the question - twice, instead suggesting that transgender medicine was a 'complex and nuanced' field, and that she would be open to a private discussion on the matter.
Paul starts off by noting that genital mutilation is recognized as a human rights violation, and that many who go through it do so willingly out of fear of social rejection. He then notes that America is 'normalizing the idea that minors can be given hormones to prevent their biological development...":
"According to the WHO, genital mutilation has been recognized internationally as a violation of human rights. Genital mutilation is considered particularly egregious, because as the WHO knows, it is almost always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children.
Most genital mutilation is not typically performed by force, but as WHO notes that by social convention, social norm. The social pressure to conform, to do what others do and have been doing as well as the need to be accepted socially and the fear of being rejected by the community. American culture is now normalizing the idea that minors can be given hormones to prevent their biological development of their secondary sexual characteristics.
"Dr. Levine you have supported both allowing minors to be given hormone blockers to prevent them from going through puberty, as well as surgical destruction of a minor's genitalia. Like surgical mutilation, hormonal interruption of puberty can permanently alter and prevent secondary sexual characteristics. The American College of Pediatricians reports that 80-95% of pre-pubital children with gender dysphoria will experience resolution by late adolescence if not exposed to medical intervention and social affirmation."
"Dr. Levine, do you believe that minors are capable of making such a life-changing decision as changing one's sex?" Paul asked.
"Well, Senator, thank you for your interest in this question. Transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field, with robust research and standards of care that have been developed. And if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed as the assistant secretary of health, I would look forward to working with you and your office in coming to your office and discussing the particulars of the standards of care for transgender medicine".
Paul, visibly irritated, shot back:
"The specific question was about minors. Let's be a little more specific since you evaded the question. Do you support the government intervening to override the parent's consent to give a child puberty blockers, cross sex hormones, and/or amputation surgery of breasts and genitalia? You have said that you're willing to accelerate the protocols for street kids. I'm alarmed that poor kids with no parents who are homeless and distraught - you would just go through this and allow that to happen to a minor."
What I'm alarmed at is that you're not willing to say: 'absolutely, minors should not be making the decision to amputate their breast, or to amputate their genitalia. For most of our history, we have believed that minors don't have full rights and that parents need to be involved, so I'm alarmed that you won't say, with certainty, that minors should not have the ability to make the decision to take hormones that will affect them for the rest of their life.
"Will you make a more firm decision on whether or not minors should be involved in these decisions?" Paul repeated.
Levine repeated her last answer almost verbatim: "Senator, transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field..."
To which Paul shot back:
"For most of the history of medicine, we wouldn't let you have a cut zone up in the ER, but you're willing to let a minor take things that prevent their puberty, and you think they get that back? You give a woman testosterone enough that she grows a beard, you think she's going to go back to looking like a woman when you stop the testosterone? You have permanently changed them. Infertility is another problem. None of these drugs have been approved for this. They're being used off-label.
I find it ironic that the left that went nuts over hydroxychloroquine being used possibly for covid, are not alarmed that these hormones are being used off-label. There's no long-term studies. We don't know what happens to 'em. We do know that there are dozens and dozens of people who've been through this who regret this happening - a permanent change happened to them.
And if you've ever been around children, 14-yar-olds can't make this decision. In the gender dysphoria clinic in England, 10% of the kids are between the age of 3 and 10. We should be outraged that someone is talking to a three-year-old about changing their sex."