Unsealed docs: Top gender medical org twisting science for politics, colluding with Biden official

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Rachel Levine, courtesy Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf via Flickr
Rachel Levine

By Katelynn Richardson
Daily Caller News Foundation

A Biden administration official pressured the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) to quickly issue its Standards of Care Version 8 (SoC 8) guidelines and remove minimum age recommendations for transgender procedures, despite a glaring lack of scientific justification, according to unsealed court documents.

Canadian sex researcher James Cantor wrote in an unsealed expert report that WPATH saw “evidence-based” medicine as a threat to its “policy goals,” allowing its S0C-8 to be influenced by “political pressure, litigation and legislative advocacy strategy, and the financial self-interest of WPATH members.” Internal WPATH communications contained in Cantor’s report reveal Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine pushed for the development of SoC 8 in order to advance the Biden administration’s political goals, even having a staff member suggest the removal of “specific listings of ages” that could “result in devastating legislation for trans care.”

“I have just spoken to Admiral Levine today, who—as always is extremely supportive of the SOC 8, but also very eager for its release—so to ensure integration in the US health policies of the Biden government,” one message from a WPATH member states. “So, let’s crack on with the job!!!”

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Another message stated Levine’s eagerness “should be taken as a charge from the United States government to do what is required to complete the project immediately.”

Despite these concessions, internal communications show certain WPATH members responsible for developing the guidelines agreed with concerns that youth were receiving “sloppy” medical care and worried about the strength of their evidence. Additionally, members recognized privately there is “no agreement” on the use of puberty blockers.

“I’m not clear on which ‘agreement regarding the value of blockers’ is required to be espoused by a WPATH member/mentor,” one message states. “My understanding is that a global consensus on ‘puberty blockers’ does not exist.”

Cantor further claims that WPATH did not ask SoC-8 committee members to identify conflicts of interest, even though some members worked as paid expert witnesses in legal cases relating to transgender procedures.

Moreover, one member of the development group later explained during WPATH’s annual conference that minimum age recommendations were removed “to protect clinicians from lawsuit should the clinician decide to provide a treatment to someone younger than a specified age minimum.”

“Again, this reflects both the existence and the harmful impact of the financial conflict of interest that WPATH and its members faced while developing SOC-8,” Cantor wrote.

Cantor’s report is part of a case, Boe v. Marshall, challenging Alabama’s ban on sex change procedures for minors. WPATH released its SoC 8 in September 2022, rolling back prior recommendations that set age limits for various procedures.

The White House, the HHS and WPATH did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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