Transgender pediatrician Dr. Rachel Levine — President Joe Biden’s pick as assistant secretary of health — was pressed by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Thursday to denounce letting minors take puberty-blocking hormones or undergo surgery to remove breasts or genitalia.
At the Senate confirmation hearing for Levine, Paul compared transgender surgery to genital mutilation and accused Levine of supporting “surgical destruction of a minor’s genitalia.”
“Dr. Levine, do you believe that minors are capable of making such a life-changing decision as changing one’s sex?” Paul asked, to which Levine answered:
“Well, Senator, thank you for your interest in this question,” she said. “Transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field with robust research and standards of care that have been developed.
“And if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed as the assistant secretary of health, I look forward to working with you and your office and coming to your office and discussing the particulars of the standards of care for transgender medicine.”
Paul called her answer one that “evaded the question.”
“Do you support the government intervening to override the parents’ consent to give a child puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and/or amputation surgery of breasts and genitalia?” Rand asked.
“You have said that you’re willing to accelerate the protocols for street kids. I’m alarmed that poor kids with no parents, who are homeless and distraught, you would just go through this and allow that to happen to a minor.”
He then described a teenager who took drastic steps to “transition” from female to male — and as an adult admitted it was a “rash mistake,” Paul recounted.
“For most of our history, we believe that minors don’t have full rights and the parents need to be involved,” Paul said.
But Levine repeated that “transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field” and Paul asked that her response should “go into the record that the witness refused to answer the question.”
“You give a woman enough testosterone, enough that she grows a beard, you think she’s going to go back looking like a woman?” Paul asked. “You have permanently changed them.”
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