‘Stand Down’: 13 State AGs Tell Merrick Garland Not to Prosecute Child Transition Surgery Critics

Thirteen state attorneys general have warned U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland against prosecuting critics of child gender transition surgeries.

The letter comes as the left-wing medical establishment, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Medical Association (AMA), and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA), sent a letter to Garland asking him to investigate and prosecute those who disagree with their practices on treating gender dysphoria in children.

“You cannot and should not undertake such investigations or prosecutions,” the attorneys general, led by Tennessee’s Jonathan Skrmetti, wrote.

The attorneys general contend that the medical establishment is concerned about how their medical treatment regime is being characterized by their critics and seek to shut down their critics’ speech.

“The president of the Children’s Hospital Association targets ‘misleading and inflammatory comments that result in threats,’” the letter states. “No doubt the medical associations object to the characterization of double mastectomies for minors as ‘mutilation’ or ‘cutting healthy breasts off teen girls,’ or of hormonal treatments as ‘chemical castration.’”

“These descriptors may inflame and provoke,” they wrote. “They are also entirely protected by the First Amendment.”

There is a growing contingent among conservatives who are willing to talk about the issue in blunt terms, and who are calling doctors out for the child genital mutilation and chemical castration the doctors practice.

“Now is a time for more speech, not less,” Skrmetti said in a press release. “Each side must have the opportunity to marshal evidence, make its case, and attempt to persuade the American people of the rightness of its position. … Silencing critics of current gender dysphoria treatment practices for minors will not make children any safer or healthier.”

Doctors in favor of the mutilation and castration contend, as the the AAP, AMA, and CHA did in their letter, that they are merely engaged in “providing evidence-based gender-affirming care.”

Indeed, the attorneys general point out the discrepancy: While the Florida Medicaid Unit has found “insufficient evidence” that hormone treatments, puberty blockers, and mutilation surgeries are “safe and effective treatment for gender dysphoria,” the medical establishment “endorse a monolithic consensus they tout as impermeable to doubt.”

The attorneys general also pointed to restrictions in Sweden, the United Kingdom, and France following investigations on the use of such drugs and procedures.

“One might expect a bit more intellectual humility from U.S. medical organizations when they address the life-altering, irreversible procedures they are championing as the cure du jour for pediatric gender dysphoria,” they wrote before comparing the modern medical fanaticism about gender treatments to the eugenics movement and the use of lobotomies.

“Medical associations should follow the science, not try to stifle public debate – especially when they’re pushing a divisive ideology that could literally ruin children’s lives,” Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, chair of medical watchdog Do No Harm, said in a press release. “The AMA demands that we follow their lead without question, yet these are the same forces who falsely equate psychological counseling for children to ‘conversion therapy’ in order to railroad minors into a predetermined path of drugs and surgery.”

“The better path is to listen to these state attorneys general and let this conversation continue nationwide,” he concluded.

Other signatories to the letter include attorneys general Leslie C. Rutledge of Arkansas, Austin Knudsen of Montana, Todd Rokita of Indiana, Douglas J. Peterson of Nebraska, Derek Schmidt of Kansas, John M. O’Connor of Oklahoma, Daniel Cameron of Kentucky, Alan Wilson of South Carolina, Jeff Landry of Louisiana, Ken Paxton of Texas, Lynn Fitch of Mississippi, and Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia.

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