Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine told a group of LGBT youth this week that the “highest levels” of the U.S. government support gender-reassignment treatments for minors.
Levine, the first transgender American to serve in a Senate-confirmed position, made the comments Wednesday during a visit to the Boston Alliance of LGBTQ+ Youth. Levine accused Republicans of attacking transgender rights in an unscientific and harmful manner, according to STAT News.
‘Our community is supported at the highest levels’: Adm. Rachel Levine on gender-affirming care https://t.co/cH7K6GCUwA
— STAT (@statnews) November 4, 2022
“This is the first time I have seen a medical board weaponized against medical providers that are providing evidence-based, standard of care treatment,” Levine told STAT News regarding the Florida Board of Medicine’s decision to ban sex-change treatments for minors, which was finalized Friday. “You can see a pattern here in terms of the attacks on rights … I really reject the language that the opposition is using. I reject their terminology. I reject their ideology.”
Levine, one of the highest-ranking officials in President Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), offered some assurances to the youth, however, saying, “Our community is supported at the highest levels.”
Biden’s HHS proposed a rule earlier this year to enforce the non-discrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act in a way that would compel insurers and healthcare providers to cover and perform sex-reassignment treatments, such as hormone therapy, puberty blockers and sex changes. The provision is opposed by Republican lawmakers and conservative healthcare groups.
Also this year, Biden signed an executive order targeting “discriminatory legislative attacks” against LGBT children, according to AP News. (RELATED: Majority Of American Voters, Including Many Democrats, Oppose Sex-Change Surgeries For Minors: POLL)
Levine also used the tour of Massachusetts to encourage healthcare providers who have faced “threats,” for providing “gender-affirmative” care for youth, according to STAT News. Gender-affirming care is a euphemism for sex-change procedures.
Levine said “to highlight the importance of the work that [hospitals] are doing for vulnerable, transgender and gender diverse children and their families, and to continue to do that work and to keep the faith … Hospitals that are facing these egregious threats should stay strong and take whatever precautions they need to take to protect themselves.”