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Rachel Levine claims no doctor disagrees with 'gender-affirming care' for children, says dissension is 'political'

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Caroline Brehman-Pool/Getty Images

Assistant Secretary of Health Rachel Levine, the leading transgender official in the Biden administration, claimed last week "there is no argument" against "gender-affirming care" for children.

What did Levine say?

Levine claimed in an interview with NPR on Saturday that the consensus among medical experts is that "gender-affirming care" is necessary.

Levine's assertion suggests that she believes every medical expert, across medical disciplines, believes that permitting children — who have not reached biological or cognitive maturity — to undergo potentially irreversible surgery or hormone therapy is the appropriate response to children who do not identify as their biological sex.

"There is no argument among medical professionals — pediatricians, pediatric endocrinologists, adolescent medicine physicians, adolescent psychiatrists, psychologists, etc. — about the value and the importance of gender-affirming care," Levine said.

Levine is a medical doctor trained in pediatrics and adolescent medicine.

Is Levine right?

Levine's claim is simply not true.

Just this month, the Florida Department of Health released a fact sheet disputing this claim, which is now the official position of the federal government thanks to the Biden administration.

The Florida DoH stated that due to a lack of "conclusive evidence" — particularly regarding the "potential for long-term, irreversible effects" — of providing children "gender-affirming care," the state does not recommend "social gender transition," the prescription of hormone therapy and puberty blockers, or gender reassignment surgery.

Levine addressed the Florida DoH fact sheet in the interview with NPR, unilaterally dismissing it as being based on "political considerations." She then claimed that her position is grounded in voluminous research and data, while claiming the position she opposes is not.

That is a dishonest claim, because there is a glaring shortage of data studying the long-term impacts of either position, which is why the Florida DoH said it would not recommend "gender-affirming care." The American Pediatrics Association admitted as much just four years ago. Not enough time has elapsed since then for the long-term impacts to be studied.

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