U.S. Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky, who ran for the Republican nomination for U.S. President in 2016, took his opportunity to ask very direct questions related to genital mutilation and transgender medication to Joe Biden’s nominee for Assistant Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine at her confirmation hearing in the U.S. Senate.
Dr. Levine is a transgendered individual herself, and therefore was expected to answer multiple questions in order to clear up some myths about gender dysphoria and transgenderism. However, the exchange between Sen. Rand Paul and Dr. Levine did not reveal much, instead further obscuring the Biden administration’s exact policies with regards to the treatment of minors affected with gender dysphoria.
Sen. Rand Paul began his line of questioning with a description of the genital mutilation issue affecting minors. “Genital mutilation has been nearly universally condemned. Genital mutilation has been condemned by the WHO, the United Nations children’s fund, and the United Nations population fund. According to the WHO, it is recognized internationally as a violation of human rights. Genital mutilation is considered particularly egregious because as the WHO notes, it is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children,” Sen. Paul stated during the hearing.
“It is typically not performed by force, but as WHO notes, by social convention, social norm, the social pressure to conform and do what others do and have been doing, as well as to be accepted socially, and the fear of being rejected by the community,” Sen. Paul concludes.
Sen. Rand Paul then ties his point about the prevalence of genital mutilation due to societal pressures together with the current mainstream American culture. “American culture is now normalizing the idea that minors can be given hormones to prevent their biological development of their secondary sexual characteristics,” Rand says. Sen. Rand Paul then cites the American College of Pediatricians, which gives the statistic that 80-95% of all pre-pubescent gender dysphoria cases would resolve on their own if there is no social or medical intervention, asking Dr. Levine about whether adults should interfere in such cases.
“Like surgical mutilation, hormonal interruption of puberty can permanently alter and prevent secondary sexual characteristics,” Paul said. “The American College of Pediatricians reports that 80% to 95% of pre-puberty children with gender dysphoria will experience resolution by late adolescence if not exposed to medical intervention and social affirmation. Dr. Levine, do you believe minors are capable of making such a life-changing decision of changing one’s sex?” asks Sen. Rand Paul
Dr. Rachel Levine did not answer the question directly and instead chose a basic response. “Transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field with robust research and standards of care that have been developed. If I’m fortunate enough to be confirmed as the assistant secretary of health, I will look forward to working with you and your office and coming to your office to discuss the particulars of the standards of care for transgender medicine.”
Sen. Paul, seemingly not satisfied with the answer, pressed Dr. Levine further, especially about the potential harm to minor children. “The specific question was about minors, let’s be a little more specific since you evaded the question,” Paul shot back. “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. 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.”
Sen. Paul then enquired Dr. Levine about whether sex-altering treatments for minors and interventions facilitating that should be supported by adults. “What I am alarmed at is that you’re not willing to say absolutely minors shouldn’t be making the decision to amputate their breasts or to amputate their genitalia. For most of our history, we have believed that minors don’t have full rights and parents need to be involved. So I am alarmed that you won’t say with certainty that minors should not have the ability to make the decision to take hormones that will affect them for the rest of their life. Will you make a more firm decision on whether minors should be involved in these decisions?”
Dr. Levine once again seemingly refuses to give a direct answer and repeats her previous response almost ad nauseam. “Transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field, and if confirmed to the position of assistant secretary of health, I would certainly be pleased to come to your office and talk with you and your staff about the standards of care and the complexity of this field,” Dr. Levine replies to Sen. Paul.
After repeated failures to receive a direct response to his questions, Sen. Paul asks the record to reflect that the witness i.e. Dr. Levine has refused to answer his questions. Sen. Paul then highlights the permanent nature of transgender medications and then asks a specific question, ‘Should minors be making these momentous decisions?’
Sen. Paul also expressed his outrage at minor children aged just 3 years old in gender dysphoria clinics. “We should be outraged that someone is talking to a three-year-old about changing their sex!” Sen. Paul then informs Dr. Levine that if she can’t answer his questions about Levine’s support for hormonal therapy and genital surgery for minor children, then he cannot support her nomination as the Assistant Secretary of Health.
“We should be outraged that someone is talking to a three-year-old about changing their sex!”@RandPaul tears into @SecretaryLevine and tells her he can’t support her nomination if she can’t answer questions about her support for medical intervention for minors. pic.twitter.com/Bu584RZdQ5— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) February 25, 2021
Dr. Rachel Levine is a transgendered individual who rose in fame due to her handling of the COVID-19 epidemic in the State of Pennsylvania. She is nominated for the role of Assistant Secretary of Health in the Biden administration. In the U.S. political system, all cabinet nominations of the President are required to face a confirmation hearing in the U.S. Senate where the Opposition can ask the nominees questions. The nominees are then either confirmed or not by a majority vote in the Senate.