DOJ Urged to Investigate Threats Over Gender-Affirming Care

The Justice Department received a letter on Monday from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association (AMA), and the Children’s Hospital Association that are asking it to investigate increasing threats of violence against children’s hospitals and doctors that provide trans youth with gender-affirming care.

The letter sent by the three major medical groups to Attorney General Merrick Garland also calls on social media platforms such as Twitter, TikTok, and Meta to step up their efforts to prevent coordinated campaigns of disinformation.

As the wave of laws targeting transgender youth has entered several GOP states, the increased threats and harassment have forced several hospitals to scale back services and ramp up security in recent months.

After the popular far-right social media account Libs of TikTok posted a video to its 1.3 million followers falsely claiming the hospital is offering gender-affirming hysterectomies for young girls among other gender-affirming care, far-right activists have unleashed a torrent of threatening calls and emails against Boston Children’s Hospital, including a bomb threat, that has caused real-world health care disruptions.

Other hospitals, such as Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, for example, have been forced to cancel some in-person services and group meetings like the one for the support group for trans youth, which was canceled due to threats.

Meanwhile, many children’s hospitals have increased security and are working with local and federal law enforcement after their medical staff faced increased threats via social media, emails, phone calls, and protestors at health care sites.

Jack Resneck Jr., the president of AMA – which represents over 270,000 physicians and more than 200 children’s hospitals nationwide – condemned the increased promotion of hate-motivated intolerance and toxic disinformation that can lead to serious real-world violence and extremism.

He emphasized that AMA would continue to work with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials while calling on social media platforms to prevent coordinated campaigns of disinformation and stop threats or acts of violence.

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