DOJ vows to 'pursue all leads' in threats against Boston Children's

The Justice Department is speaking out after Boston Children's Hospital said it has been the target of a harassment campaign based on misinformation about its pediatric and adolescent transgender health program.

In an Aug. 17 statement, U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins called the news "disturbing to say the least."

"Children deserve an opportunity to thrive and grow as their own authentic selves," said Ms. Rollins, who is with the Justice Department's Massachusetts district. "Parents/guardians and healthcare providers who support them in that journey should be allowed to do so free of threats and harassment."

Her concerns emerged after several conservative social media accounts shared posts related to the hospital'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.

"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 in a statement shared with Becker's. "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." 

The hospital said the commentary about its Gender Multispecialty Service Program resulted in "a large volume of hostile internet activity, phone calls and harassing emails," and it was "working with law enforcement to protect our clinicians, staff, patients, families and the broader Boston Children's community."

In her statement, Ms. Rollins said her administration is prioritizing confronting hate crimes. She also pointed to a new hotline, 1-83-END-H8-NOW, which she said has led to dozens of calls.

"We will continue to pursue all leads. While free speech is indeed the cornerstone of our great nation, fear, intimidation and threats are not," she said. 

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