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State AGs Warn Garland Against Prosecuting Child Transition Surgery Critics: ‘Stand Down’

Posted on Friday, October 14, 2022
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FIRST ON FOX: A group of thirteen state attorneys general warned Attorney General Merrick Garland against investigating and prosecuting critics of child gender transition surgeries.

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti led the letter with 12 of his fellow state attorneys general to Garland on Wednesday, demanding President Biden’s attorney general “stand down” on several medical organizations’ requests to investigate “disinformation campaigns” about child gender transitions. 

The attorneys’ general letter came after the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Medical Association (AMA), and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) asked Garland to take “swift action to investigate and prosecute” individuals responsible for what they alleged are “increasing threats of violence” against hospitals and physicians targeted for “providing evidence-based gender-affirming care.”

“From Boston to Akron to Nashville to Seattle, children’s hospitals, academic health systems, and physicians are being targeted and threatened for providing evidence-based health care,” the medical groups told Garland.

“The attacks are rooted in an intentional campaign of disinformation, where a few high-profile users on social media share false and misleading information targeting individual physicians and hospitals, resulting in a rapid escalation of threats, harassment, and disruption of care across multiple jurisdictions,” the medical groups added.

A free society cannot tolerate trusted professionals calling on law enforcement and big tech to suppress criticism,” Skrmetti told Fox News Digital. “We are slipping into a dangerous orthodoxy where dissent is pushed further and further to the margins.”

“America was founded through passionate disagreement, and the ongoing vitality of our Republic depends on our shared commitment to free speech,” he added.

Stanley Goldfarb, chairman of medical watchdog Do No Harm, criticized the medical associations and commended the attorneys general for their letter.

“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,” Goldfarb said.

“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,” Goldfarb continued.

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

In the letter exclusively obtained by Fox News Digital, the attorneys general wrote of their “deep concern with the recent letter” Garland received from the medical associations, which they said asked him “to investigate and prosecute people who question the medical establishment’s current treatment of children struggling with gender dysphoria.”

The top cops told Garland he “cannot and should not undertake such investigations or prosecutions.”

“We emphatically agree that anyone engaged in violent crime or threats of violence should be investigated and prosecuted by the appropriate authorities. But the medical organizations are asking you for much more than that,” they wrote.

“They are asking you to direct the criminal enforcement power of the federal government not only at those committing or threatening violence but also at those whose speech may ‘provoke’ such threats,” the attorneys general continued.

The top cops wrote that the medical organizations’ “broad request, and related comments by leaders in the medical organizations, indicate that they are interested not just in preventing violence but also in suppressing ideas with which they disagree” and pointed to CHA president Amy Wimpey Knight’s press release accompanying the letter that “targets ‘misleading and inflammatory comments that result in threats.’”

“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,’” the letter reads.

“These descriptors may inflame and provoke. They are also entirely protected by the First Amendment,” the attorneys general continued, citing the case Terminiello v. Chicago and adding in a parenthetical there “is no room under our Constitution for a more restrictive view. For the alternative would lead to standardization of ideas either by legislatures, courts, or dominant political or community groups.”

The attorneys general pointed to Sweden’s, the United Kingdom’s, and France’s restrictions on child gender transition procedures and surgeries, and said 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 also pointed to the medical community’s past pushes of procedures now considered unethical, such as how the AMA “embraced eugenics as a cure for various social ills” and how “the frontal lobotomy came into vogue as a treatment for psychiatric ailments” in the mid-Twentieth Century.

“Despite these past cautionary tales and recent radical changes in pediatric practices, the medical establishment asks you to forcibly eliminate criticism of the treatment regime for gender dysphoric minors,” they wrote. “We would welcome clarification from the organizations as to the scope of their request, but as of now it appears they would rather silence critics than debate them.”

“We respectfully demand that you stand down and allow the national conversation to continue. Now is a time for more speech, not less. 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. This is the process most likely to attain the truth and promote effective policymaking. Silencing critics of current gender dysphoria treatment practices for minors will not make children any safer or healthier. Instead, it will lead to bad decision-making and erode public confidence in both the federal government and the medical community.”

The top cops wrote they “are particularly troubled by the medical organizations’ parallel calls” to Garland and “leading social media platforms to take action against speech they find unwelcome or inconvenient regarding the treatment of pediatric gender dysphoria,” and pointed out that a “concerted effort by government and industry to suppress speech violates America’s most fundamental principles.”

“Americans frequently disagree about important issues. That is normal and healthy,” the attorneys general wrote. “But the answer to disagreement is never the criminalization of speech.”

“Nothing matters more than protecting our children. We need to make sure we are doing that right,” they continued. “The only way to obtain that certainty is through rigorous interrogation of current practices. Criticism must be welcomed, not silenced.”

Joining Skrmetti on the letter are 12 of his fellow state attorneys general, including Ken Paxton of Texas, Derek Schmidt of Kansas, and John O’Connor of Oklahoma.

Houston Keene is a politics writer for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @HoustonKeene 

 

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Bob L.
Bob L.
1 year ago

The actions of the DOJ under the current regime in Washington should be enough to convince the most under informed doubters as to the destructive direction this nation is on track to achieve – the end of the U.S. as a Constitutional Republic and the end of our freedoms as guaranteed by The Bill of Rights.

Michael J
Michael J
1 year ago

Government control over every facet of life is on full display with this blatant overreach. Using the federal government to reign in anyone who would dare to question school boards, hospitals or even the government itself has shown that “We the People” are now their subjects instead of their represented. This adminstration is truly a domestic enemy in disguise and has done irreparable harm to this once great nation.

Mikey B
Mikey B
1 year ago

The fact that the “ powers that be” are encouraging, indoctrinating or otherwise coercing youngsters that this behavior is actually a choice that is “sane”, that it’s, “alright”…..doesn’t make it any less heinous.
To me, this is pedophilia in its truest form. People were arrested for this type of thing in years past. (Not that long ago).
But, LGBGT “clubs” in high schools, drag queens reading stories in the 3rd grade classrooms, and this rhetoric that these poor kids are now fed every day in school is just sickening.
For Gods sake…. leave the kids alone
PLEASE!

Hal
Hal
1 year ago

The most supportive and consistent with present Constitutional values is to allow abortion legally in special cases, such as (1) pregnancy/birth-of-baby are a clinically supported risk to the life of the pregnant woman; (2) the pregnancy was the result provable incest; (3) the pregnancy was the result of the female being under the legal age (usually 18); (4) the woman was raped AND the rape was promptly reported to authorities ASAP by the woman, e,g, within one week of the incident: (5) the fetus is provably known to be deformed or defective based on thorough examination by more than one expert doctor, none of which has had prior contact with the pregnant woman or her family.

InsanitySquared
InsanitySquared
1 year ago

I solved my personal social issues by avoiding marriage and fathering children. However, I do empathize with the people with traditional value systems. I understand why parents would not want to give their kids the freedom to pick their gender like it was candy. I certainly oppose the State dictating the liberal values to parents. That being said….

I am personally unaffected by most of these matters. And even though I lean to the Right on many issues, I cannot support DUMB Republicans who say stupid stuff a lot of the time. Republicans need to come with smarter candidates for more Independents to vote for them. There has to be some middle ground – for example, allowing women to have an abortion but not allowing the rainbow community to impose their will on everybody. Republicans need to allow the minimum wage to go up too. Just some rational sensible social, economic, and environmental policies will help them win big. Otherwise, the Republicans are destined to lose. You have to remember that in this day and age most people lean to the left and media is mostly left leaning. Republicans must adapt; otherwise they will not survive as a party.

Sam
Sam
1 year ago

This Garland guy has taken his role od AG today “controller of all!” He needs to tone it down and abide by the constitution!

Hard Rock
Hard Rock
1 year ago

First and foremost you can’t change your gender. You ca mutilate the body and inject hormones, but that doesn’t change the truth. Second, this whole issue is about easy money for the medical community. Third, this is a spiritual issue, good versus evil. The people who support this and encourage this are evil to the core. IMHO.

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