Akron Children’s Hospital is the latest target of right-wing social media accounts targeting children’s hospitals across the country that provide gender-affirming care.
Last month, Boston Children’s Hospital, home to the first pediatric and adolescent transgender health program in the United States, became the primary target of far-right social media accounts, news outlets and bloggers.
Last week, federal authorities arrested and charged a Massachusetts woman accused of making a false bomb threat at Boston Children’s Hospital, where doctors and staff were harassed and threatened with violence because of its pediatric and adolescent transgender health program.
Gender-affirming medicine is an evolving field that involves consulting with health and social work professionals to provide care for transgender patients seeking characteristics more in line with their gender identity. This may include services such as puberty suppression, hormone treatment, mental health care coordination, well checks and preventative visits, education and supportive care for LGBTQ+ youth and their families.
After:Young people get help to fight their identity at Akron Children’s Clinic
Other children’s hospitals across the country, including in Phoenix and Philadelphia, also became targets of the campaign.
This week, Akron Children’s Hospital, which has a gender-affirming medicine center, became a target.
Ohio State Rep. Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson, took to Twitter to defend the Akron-based hospital.
“Over the past week, @libsoftiktok and a group of anonymous trolls have waged a social TERROR campaign against @AkronChildrens, a world-class institution of which thousands of my constituents (including my children) are patients/employees” , Weinstein wrote in a tweet. Wednesday.
“Listen to me now – stay away from our kids,” he tweeted.
What is the Center for Gender Affirmation Medicine?
Akron Children’s Hospital opened its Gender Affirming Medicine Center in the summer of 2019. Clinic officials said they are dedicated to helping teens struggling with gender identity issues. gender.
Clinic patients see a multidisciplinary team that includes gender-affirming medical providers as well as a social worker, nurse coordinator, mental health therapist and endocrinologist. The center receives patients aged 7 and over.
Sex reassignment surgeries are not available at Akron Children’s Hospital and the team is waiting to provide medication – such as hormone treatments or puberty suppressing drugs – until the youngster is fully recovered. evaluated, the doctors said.
Young transgender people are at higher risk for suicide and homelessness, Akron Children’s doctors said. Forty-one percent of transgender people attempt suicide in their lifetime.
“I just want to live my life”:Young trans people, others condemn bans on gender-affirming care
Representative Casey Weinstein explains his support for the hospital
In a phone interview Thursday, Weinstein said he had “anonymous trolls” on his Twitter page and he started noticing them hitting on Akron Children’s Hospital.
“They were claiming that Akron Children’s was performing castration and body mutilation on very young children, which I know is not the case,” Weinstein said.
He said the clinic at the hospital helps treat patients and reduce the risk of suicide.
Weinstein said he was following what happened at Boston Children’s Hospital last week and was concerned about Akron Children’s Hospital.
“It’s just outside my district, but my children are patients there and a lot of my friends work there and a lot of my constituents receive care there. This place matters to me,” Weinstein said.
Weinstein said he felt he had to defend the local hospital.
“I’m concerned and I want (Akron Children’s) to know that I support them and I want people to know that we need to stand up and defend our beloved Akron Children’s Hospital,” he said. “I’ll take some of the heat, that’s good. Bring it on me, not on our children’s hospital in Akron. Not our doctors, our nurses, our carers and our children.
Weinstein said he heard a Boston Children’s Hospital employee “thank me, scared for his life because of what’s going on here.”
Local and national health response
Akron Children’s Hospital released a statement Thursday in response to questions from The Beacon Journal about the social media attacks.
“Akron Children’s Hospital does not turn away any child seeking care. This has been a core promise since our founding in 1890 and includes patients at our Gender-Affirming Medicine Center. We strongly believe that young people should have access to gender-affirming healthcare programs that are based on research and standards of care.We proudly support the work of our program and our providers.
“It made such a difference in my life”:Clinics, employers adopting gender-affirming care
“In recent days, Akron Children’s program has become the subject of online discussions full of misinformation about the care we provide. We condemn all forms of harassment., intimidation and intentional dissemination of false information. We remain committed to providing a safe, inclusive and welcoming place for all patients, families and staff. »
The American Academy of Pediatrics also issued a statement to the Beacon Journal regarding the social media attacks at Akron Children’s Hospitals and other children’s hospitals across the country:
“These attacks on doctors and children’s hospitals providing health care are disruptive, dangerous and threaten the health and safety of all who seek care and work in these facilities. The American Academy of Pediatrics stands with physicians, nurses, mental health specialists, and other health professionals who provide evidence-based, gender-affirming health care to children and adolescents.” , said Mark Del Monte, CEO of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
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