Thursday, February 25, 2021
Paul to deputy HHS nominee: If we condemn genital mutilation of minors, why do you support transgender therapies for children?
The Washington Post offers a much more balanced — and accurate — headline: “Sen. Paul criticizes Biden nominee, a transgender woman, over her support for gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapy for minors.” Dan Diamond gave a straightforward account of the exchange:
In his questions at Levine’s confirmation hearing, Paul tried to draw a connection between genital mutilation — a practice condemned by public health experts as a human rights violation — and surgery and medication for children who are transitioning genders. Paul also complained about Levine’s support for children who make the decision to take hormone-blocking medications despite the concerns of their parents.
“For most of our history, we have believed that minors don’t have full rights and that parents need to be involved,” Paul said. “We should be outraged that someone’s talking to a 3-year-old about changing their sex.”
Levine — who is bidding to be the highest-ranking out transgender official in federal government history — sidestepped Paul’s specific points and responded in general terms.
“Transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field with robust research and standards of care that have been developed,” Levine said, promising to discuss the issue further with Paul if confirmed.