AG Rokita sends letter to gender health clinics, includes vague threats to providers and parents
Attorney General Todd Rokita sent a letter to gender-affirming care providers Tuesday requesting information about procedures offered to transgender youth. The letter – largely based on misinformation – issued vague threats against medical providers and families.
Gender-affirming care is a holistic approach to treating gender dysphoria – including social, mental, medicinal and surgical health care. It’s supported by all major medical organizations including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Rokita’s letter to providers included several questions about gender-affirming surgeries. During testimony on SB 480 – which would ban medicinal and surgical gender-affirming care for Hoosier youth – providers in Indiana explained that they did not offer that care, but did offer referrals for after the patient turned 18.
It’s also against national and international guidelines to provide gender-affirming surgeries for minors. Rokita said in a news release, surgical care could “legitimately be considered child abuse.”
Rokita also called medicinal treatments – like puberty blockers and hormone therapies – the “sterilization of Hoosier children.” Puberty blockers are largely reversible and have similar side effects to most medications. And hormone therapies can affect fertility, but aren’t guaranteed to.
READ MORE: What is gender-affirming care?
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The letter also included a question that intimated medical professionals used suicide statistics for unsupported trans youth to convince parents to give consent for treatment. Providers both in testimony and through interviews with Indiana Public Broadcasting explained that medicinal and surgical treatments are only pursued after social and mental health care are provided.
The question mirrors testimony heard in favor of the bill to limit gender-affirming care for transgender youth, including from the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has advocated for the forced sterilization of transgender Europeans; and Parents of ROGD Kids, which is named after a thoroughly debunked study.
In a statement, the ACLU of Indiana’s Ken Falk said the letter sought to “validate … unjustified discriminatory legislation” currently moving through the Statehouse. He also said providers were under “no greater obligation to answer these inquiries” than if they were asked by anyone else.
Lauren is our digital editor. Contact her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.