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Boston Children's Hospital has revealed that employees are facing a "large volume" of violent threats due to misinformation that the facility provides gender-affirming surgeries on children.
The hospital — which touts itself as "the first pediatric and adolescent transgender health program in the United States" — sent an emailed statement detailing the threats of violence targeting its clinicians and staff members, including "hostile internet activity, phone calls, and harassing emails."
The threats reportedly stem from misinformation online alleging that the hospital performs gender-affirming surgeries to children under the age of 18. However, Boston Children's Hospital assures that hysterectomies and other genital surgeries performed as part of gender-affirming care are only provided to consenting adult patients.
"Age 18 is used to reflect the standard age of majority for medical decision-making," the statement reads. "Boston Children's does not perform genital surgeries as part of gender-affirming care on a patient under the age of 18."
"We condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms, and we reject the false narrative upon which they are based," the hospital said. "We are working with law enforcement to protect our clinicians, staff, patients, families, and the broader Boston Children's community and hold the offenders accountable. We will continue to take all appropriate measures to protect our people."
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Boston Police is reportedly investigating the threats and U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Rachael Rollins called the situation "disturbing."
On Wednesday, she released a statement vowing to "ensure equal protection of transgender people under the law" while sharing a hotline, 1-83-END-H8-NOW, for locals to report hate crimes.
"While free speech is indeed the cornerstone of our great nation, fear, intimidation and threats are not. I will not sit idly by and allow hate-based criminal activity to continue in our District," Rollins said.
C.P. Hoffman, senior policy counsel at the National Center for Transgender Equality, told The Washington Post that harassment toward hospital could deter patients from seeking gender-affirming care and "make it very frightening for individuals and their family members going in for gender affirming care."
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The threats against Boston Children's Hospital come just as the country is experiencing a number of legislative efforts to deprive transgender children of gender-affirming care.
At least 13 U.S. states have signed anti-LGBTQ legislation into law and another 23 states have introduced such bills in 2022 alone, according to HRC, with many of those laws targeting trans youth and gender-affirming care.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ramped up attacks on trans youth, directing the Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate parents for child abuse after they provided gender-affirming care for their children. Florida and Alabama have since adopted similar policies.