Healthcare organizations to AG: Investigate threats over children's transgender care

The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association and Children's Hospital Association are asking Attorney General Merrick Garland to step in to protect physicians and hospitals who have reported threats and harassment over medical care they provide to transgender children.

In an Oct. 3 letter, the groups urge Mr. Garland to investigate the organizations, individuals and entities responsible for the threats and harassment.

"From Boston to Akron, [Ohio], to Nashville, [Tenn.], to Seattle, children's hospitals, academic health systems, and physicians are being targeted and threatened for providing evidence-based healthcare," the letter states. "These attacks have not only made it difficult and dangerous for institutions and practices to provide this care, [but] they have also disrupted many other services to families seeking care."

Hospitals and physicians across the U.S. have encountered harassment in different forms and severity, including from a conservative activist group. Boston Children's, for instance, confirmed that police investigated a report of an anonymous bomb threat at the hospital Aug. 30. 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. 

In their letter, the healthcare groups said threats via social media continue to affect children's hospitals and their workers that provide gender-affirming healthcare, in addition to harassing emails, phone calls and protesters at healthcare sites.

That is why they said they are calling on Mr. Garland to investigate and prosecute all organizations, individuals and entities responsible.

"Our organizations are dedicated to the health and well-being of all children and adolescents. We are committed to the full spectrum of patient care — from prevention to critical care," their letter states. "We stand with the physicians, nurses, mental health specialists and other healthcare professionals providing evidence-based healthcare, including gender-affirming care, to children and adolescents."

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