Children's National faces threats over transgender youth services

Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., said it has been the target of a large volume of hostile phone calls, social media messages and emails based on misinformation about its about its care for the transgender community.

The harassment stems from false claims on social media that Children's National is performing hysterectomies on children under age 18, according to a hospital statement shared with Becker's.

On Aug. 25, a conservative activist group published a recording on their Twitter account claiming that the hospital performs gender-affirming hysterectomies on minors. The recording features two telephone operators at Children's National stating that a 16-year-old transgender boy would be eligible for such a procedure at the hospital, according to The Washington Post. The hospital said the information employees provided was inaccurate.

"None of the people who were secretly recorded by this activist group deliver care to our patients," Children's National said. "The information in the recording is not accurate. To reiterate, we do not and have never performed gender-affirming hysterectomies on minors."

Additionally, the hospital noted that "you cannot perform a hysterectomy in a minor without a court order" and that it "do[es] not provide hormone therapy to children before puberty begins."

"Care is individualized for each patient and always involves families making decisions in coordination with a team of highly trained pediatric specialists," the hospital said.

Children's National also acknowledged that some information on the hospital's website had spurred some confusion because it erroneously stated that patients "between the ages of 0-21" could receive a gender-affirming hysterectomy, according to The Washington Post. A hospital spokesperson told the newspaper the statement has been amended.

The response by Children's National comes weeks after Boston Children's Hospital said it also was the target of a harassment campaign based on misinformation about its pediatric and adolescent transgender health program.

Several conservative social media accounts shared posts related to the Boston Children's Gender Multispecialty Service Program, the nation's first pediatric and adolescent transgender health program.

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 claim.

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