WASHINGTON—Heritage Foundation experts this week applauded a group of 13 state attorneys general for standing up to bullying and intimidation tactics by Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice on the issue of harmful “gender surgeries” for children. In their letter to Attorney General Garland, they warned him against investigating and prosecuting critics of these surgeries.
Jay Richards, director of Heritage’s DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family, made the following statement on Thursday:
“Most Americans would be rightly outraged if they knew what was happening to thousands of minors in clinics around this country under the guise of ‘gender-affirming care.’ No child is born in the wrong body, and any medical treatment based on that belief is malpractice—no matter what medical groups may claim.
“Every major medical outrage in the 20th century had the temporary backing of groups claiming to speak for science. But there is no good scientific evidence that putting kids on the pathway to chemical and surgical sterilization heals psychological discomfort that a child may have toward his or her body.
“Some countries that were early subscribers to this experimental treatment—such as Sweden, the UK, and France—are already having second thoughts. But President Biden is using the full force of the federal government to push these experimental treatments on American children.
“Thirteen state attorneys general are now speaking out, and they are right to do so. Puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, double mastectomies, and more are being performed on ever more children every year. These state attorneys general are drawing expected fire from the Biden administration—but they should stick to their own guns and call on other states to join them.”
Sarah Parshall Perry, a Heritage senior legal fellow, added the following statement:
“The courage of these leaders demanding Attorney General Garland stand down on threats to investigate those who speak out against ‘gender affirming’ care for minors is not just warranted—it is ethically just.
“This administration seems to pick and choose law enforcement efforts based on the viewpoint of the speaker. And the Department of Justice in particular—fresh off the dawn raid of a pro-life pastor’s home with guns drawn—seems keen to weaponize the heft of a federal agency to silence dissent.
“But these AGs rightly recognize that America is infected with a contagion, and they may be the last line of defense in the states protecting those who dare to ask the Biden administration tough questions on their push to force these radical procedures on innocent children.
“The American Medical Association has asked for investigation not just of actual violence or threats, but of constitutionally protected speech. Those kinds of tactics are the hallmark of banana republics—not constitutional republics.”