The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has just proposed a rule that would force insurers to cover “gender transition” procedures such as cross-sex hormones, puberty blockers, and sex reassignment surgery. This rule change would harm not only evidence-based medicine but also, ironically, the very patients the change purports to help. It’s driven by the ideological push to redefine sex as a social construct and would threaten the religious liberty of religiously-affiliated hospitals and medical professionals. Before finalizing and implementing this rule, HHS has asked the public to comment with their thoughts on the matter.
Many individuals who have undergone gender transition procedures have lived to regret them. There is a growing movement of “detransitioners” who are speaking up and opposing the normalization of hormone and surgical procedures for gender dysphoria. Many now characterize the “care” they received as medical malpractice. Their heartbreaking and compelling stories should give us great pause before requiring insurance policies to cover these procedures.
Ironically, this rule would be harmful to the patients it purports to serve. Science and biology are the bedrock of the medical profession, and a doctor must know the physical and biological makeup of their patient. Men and women sometimes exhibit different symptoms for the same disease. Men and women also sometimes need different medication or different dosages of medication for the same disease. If a transgender-identifying patient is not treated according to their biological sex, the results can be tragic:
- A biological woman with abdominal pain who presented as a man in the emergency room was treated as an obese man instead of a possibly pregnant woman with very serious pregnancy complications. She was, in fact, pregnant and, because she was not treated appropriately, the child tragically died.
- Another biological woman in need of a kidney transplant who identified as a man nearly died before finally receiving a kidney because the results of her tests were not accurately interpreted.
- Transgender-identifying individuals with sex-specific cancers have gone misdiagnosed or missed an early diagnosis that could have had better outcomes.
Not only is this rule damaging to patients and the scientific foundations of medicine, but it is also damaging to religious liberty, our “first freedom” guaranteed by the First Amendment. This rule would subject numerous religiously-affiliated hospitals that were sued under the Obama administration to further lawsuits for refusing to remove healthy organs and tissue from healthy patients as part of gender transition procedures. Doctors, nurses, and other religious providers will be forced to choose between their livelihoods and religious beliefs.
Please take a moment right now and submit a comment to HHS to help stop this devastating rule. The deadline is January 27, 2022, and HHS needs to hear from you now! Every comment helps. include a few sentences of your own to personalize your comment.
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