3 Groups Call for DOJ to Investigate Threats, Attacks on Transgender Medical Care Providers

Attacks have not only made it difficult and dangerous to provide transgender care, they have disrupted many other services.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the Children’s Hospital Association are urging the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the recent spate of false claims, threats, and attacks against medical providers that treat transgender adolescents and young adults.

In a letter sent Monday to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, the groups said:

“From Boston to Akron to Nashville to Seattle, children’s hospitals, academic health systems, and physicians are being targeted and threatened for providing evidence-based health care. These attacks have not only made it difficult and dangerous for institutions and practices to provide this care, they have also disrupted many other services to families seeking care.

“In one hospital, a new mother was prevented from being with her preterm infant because the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was on lockdown due to a bomb threat.

“Children’s hospitals across the nation have substantially increased security in addition to working with local and federal law enforcement, both on their main hospital campuses as well as across their ambulatory delivery sites, in order to ensure the safety of patients, families, and medical staff who work there. In addition, some providers have needed 24/7 security. Children’s hospitals and their medical staffs continue to face increased threats via social media – including to their personal accounts. Coupled with harassing emails, phone calls, and protestors at health care sites, there is elevated and justifiable fear among families, patients, and staff.

“These coordinated attacks threaten federally protected rights to health care for patients and their families. The attacks are rooted in an intentional campaign of disinformation, where a few high-profile users on social media share false and misleading information targeting individual physicians and hospitals, resulting in a rapid escalation of threats, harassment, and disruption of care across multiple jurisdictions. Our organizations have called on technology companies to do more to prevent this practice on digital platforms, and we now urge your office to take swift action to investigate and prosecute all organizations, individuals, and entities responsible.

“Attacks against health care institutions that threaten violence, intimidation, and physical harm have left hospitals, staff, and their communities shaken. Providers of evidence-based gender-affirming health care and their colleagues are facing increased stress and fear on top of the conditions they have faced while working on the frontlines of a global pandemic for nearly three years. Families seeking care at these institutions as well as our those providing their care fear for their personal safety in the wake of these attacks.”

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray
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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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