Why are people on the left so upset? Aren’t we supposed to treat the first openly transgender federal nominee just like everyone else?
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is known for being blunt, and he stayed true to form during the confirmation hearing of Dr. Rachel Levine, who has been nominated by President Biden to be the assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services.
A clip of Senator Paul’s questioning went viral for his characterization of gender transition surgery as “genital mutilation” as well as attempting to further clarify Dr. Levine’s position on puberty blockers and cross-sex hormone use on minors without parental consent.
The Hill reports:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is facing criticism for his questioning of one of President Biden’s health nominees, Rachel Levine, a former state health official who would be the first openly transgender federal official confirmed by the Senate.
Paul characterized gender-affirming care, including surgical treatments for transgender individuals, as “genital mutilation,” a description not supported by mainstream health care experts.
Source: The Hill
Wait a second… is The Hill reporter suggesting that removing functional organs and altering them for cosmetic purposes is not genital mutilation?
Let’s be real for a second, a surgically attached penis isn’t going to function as a natural penis, and a surgically-created vagina will not function as a vagina. These are cosmetic procedures that are performed to alleviate gender dysphoria. The only reason that it is done is to make the patient’s body align with their gender identity.
Calling it “genital mutilation” is harsh, but accurate.
It wasn’t just surgery that Sen. Paul was grilling Dr. Levine, however. It was the lack of parental consent, including allowing gender transition surgery for homeless teens under the age of 18. He also noted how young the children were.
Indeed, one of the most notable moments of Sen. Paul’s questioning was when he said, “We should be outraged that someone’s talking to a 3-year-old about changing their sex.”
Instead of answering Sen. Paul’s question, Dr. Levine simply said, “Transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field with robust research and standards of care that have been developed. If I am fortunate enough to be confirmed as the assistant secretary of health, I look forward to working with you in your office and coming to your office, and discussing the particulars of the standards of care for transgender medicine.”
In other words, Dr. Levine dodged the question.
Watch Sen. Paul knock it out of the park with this questioning:
The article in The Hill insists that puberty blockers are “reversible.”
To clarify, according to the CDC, puberty-blocking medication “suppress the body’s release of sex hormones, including testosterone and estrogen, during puberty.” The CDC also notes that the mediation that is used, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues, “pauses” puberty by affecting the Primary and Secondary sex-characteristics of the patient. The effect on Primary sex characteristics — the sexual organs present at birth — stops the growth of genitalia in males and the beginning of menstruation in females. It also affects Secondary sex characteristics like preventing the growth of facial hair and preventing the voice from changing in males and breast development in females. Puberty blockers are generally prescribed at the beginning of puberty which is generally around age 10-11, but could occur earlier.
Initially, it was widely reported that the effects of puberty blockers are “fully reversible” if medication is stopped, but the CDC website states that there can be long-term effects of puberty blockers including, bone density, future fertility, and, in the case of males, the cessation of growth of genitalia can cause complications for future surgical interventions such as a penile inversion vaginoplasty.
The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) also adjusted their initial position that puberty blockers are “fully reversible” by including this tidbit:
Little is known about the long-term side effects of hormone or puberty blockers in children with gender dysphoria.
Although GIDS advises this is a physically reversible treatment if stopped, it is not known what the psychological effects may be.
It’s also not known whether hormone blockers affect the development of the teenage brain or children’s bones. Side effects may also include hot flushes, fatigue and mood alterations.
Source: National Health Service, U.K.
In addition to that, Breitbart reported on the FDA report that thousands of children died and tens of thousands had adverse reactions from using one particular puberty-blocker between 2013 and June 2019.
It’s also important to note, as Senator Paul did, that these medications are being used “off-label” — which is what everyone was losing their minds over Hydroxychloroquine being used as a therapeutic for COVID-19.
None of this was reported in the article in The Hill.
Criticism of Senator Paul was rampant. The Hill gives a bit of a taste of it here:
“It is really critical to me that our nominees be treated with respect and that our questions focus on their qualifications and the work ahead of us, rather than ideological and harmful misrepresentations like those we heard from Senator Paul earlier,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the chairwoman of the Senate Health Committee, which considered Levine’s nomination Thursday…
…”Rand Paul chose devotion to anti-LGBTQ extremist groups over substance and the health of our nation — and does not deserve to hold public office,” said Ruben Gonzales, executive director of the LGBTQ Victory Institute.
“His remarks echo the talking points of the same organizations who said gay men deserved AIDS and that LGBTQ people should be criminalized. He explicitly attacked vulnerable trans youth for his own perceived political gain and it was a disgrace. Dr. Levine is an extremely qualified nominee whose experience can help America effectively tackle this pandemic, but he took this opportunity to give voice to hate groups instead.”
Source: The Hill
It seems perfectly reasonable to question a doctor on their known specialization. Prior to being nominated by Joe Biden to a position within the HHS, Dr. Levine was Pennsylvania’s State Secretary of Health since 2018. Prior to that position, Dr. Levine was appointed as Pennsylvania’s physician general in 2015, and prior to that, was a long-time pediatrician at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
You’d think that asking a pediatrician who has spoken publicly about gender dysphoria in transgender children would be fair game.
Apparently not if it’s the first openly transgender nominee.