Anti-transgender campaigns targeted 24 hospitals, medical providers, report finds

The Human Rights Campaign has identified online harassment campaigns against 24 hospitals and medical providers who offer gender-affirming care for transgender, nonbinary and questioning youth.

The finding, part of a report released Dec. 13, is based on an informal exploration across Facebook and Twitter.

Campaigns occurred between August and November, in 21 states, at places like Boston Children's Hospital, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanderbilt University, according to the report.

The Human Rights Campaign said the campaigns followed social media posts from Libs of TikTok, Daily Wire columnist Matt Walsh and other right-wing accounts.

"As threats against the transgender community continue to rise — especially impacting Black, brown and young transgender people — it is crucial that we look at who are the major players fueling this campaign of hatred," Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a news release. "This report confirms what we have suspected for some time: these dangerous accounts are playing a major role in causing harm to healthcare providers and patients. They are no longer just making the internet an unsafe place for transgender people and allies. The ruthlessness and the vitriol has long ago expanded beyond the confines of the screen to spawn threats of physical harm on people."

Hospitals in cities such as Nashville, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., have reported harassment in different forms and severity. Boston Children's confirmed that police investigated a report of an anonymous bomb threat at the hospital Aug. 30 related to its Gender Multispecialty Service program. No explosive device was located, but the hospital was on lockdown as police investigated. A Westfield, Mass., woman was ultimately charged in connection with the fake bomb threat. Additionally, a man from Canada was arrested in connection with multiple bomb threats in September targeting locations in the Boston area, including Boston Children's.

In October, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association and Children's Hospital Association asked the Justice Department to investigate the organizations, individuals and entities responsible for the threats and harassment. Lawmakers have also joined medical associations in asking the Justice Department to step in to protect hospitals that have reported threats and harassment over medical care they provide to transgender children.

To read the full Human Rights Campaign report, click here

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