Boston Children's faces harassment campaign over transgender healthcare

Boston Children's Hospital said it has been the target of a harassment campaign based on misinformation about its treatment of the young transgender community.

The campaign centers on recent commentary about the hospital's Gender Multispecialty Service Program.

"In response to commentary last week critical of our Gender Multispecialty Service Program, Boston Children's Hospital has been the target of a large volume of hostile internet activity, phone calls, and harassing emails including threats of violence toward our clinicians and staff," the hospital said in a statement shared with Becker's. "We are deeply concerned by these attacks fueled by misinformation and a lack of understanding and respect for our transgender community." 

The campaign began when several conservative social media accounts shared posts related to a video posted by Boston Children's about hysterectomies and care provided to transgender people, public radio station WBUR reported Aug. 16.  

Among the allegations on the accounts was that Boston Children's performs gender-affirming hysterectomies on minors, according to NBC News. The hospital disputes the allegation.

"For hysterectomies and other genital surgeries performed as part of gender-affirming care, Boston Children's requires a patient to be capable of consenting for themselves," the hospital said. "Age 18 is used to reflect the standard age of majority for medical decision-making. Boston Children's does not perform genital surgeries as part of gender-affirming care on a patient under the age of 18." 

NBC News reported that the hospital provided information to employees earlier this week on how to respond to harassment and threats.

"We condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms, and we reject the false narrative upon which they are based," Boston Children's said. "We are working with law enforcement to protect our clinicians, staff, patients, families, and the broader Boston Children's community and hold the offenders accountable. We will continue to take all appropriate measures to protect our people."

Boston Children's houses the nation's first pediatric and adolescent transgender health program.

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