Children’s National Hospital in Washington D.C. has been targeted with bomb and death threats after the far-right anti-LGBTQ Twitter account Libs of TikTok falsely claimed that the hospital was performing hysterectomies (the removal of the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and sometimes ovaries) on transgender children.
The post may have caused the Twitter access for Libs of TikTok to be suspended, The Daily Dot reported, as it hasn’t tweeted since last Friday.
Last Friday, Libs of TikTok’s founder Chaya Raichik posted an audio recording of her discussion with hospital telephone operators who said that “a 16-year-old trans boy would be eligible for a hysterectomy at the hospital’s gender development clinic,” The Washington Post reported.
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One operator told Raichik that a 16-year-old child would be “in the clear” to receive the operation. A second operator told her that “all different type[s] of age groups” come in for the operation and that “kids” younger than 16 have come in for the procedure.
Right-wing media outlets like Fox News and The Daily Caller shared articles about the recording.
The hospital has since said that the telephone operators provided incorrect information. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health has said that hysterectomies shouldn’t be performed on minors.
🚨BREAKING EXCLUSIVE REPORT🚨
.@ChildrensNatl admits in damning audio recording that they do “gender affirming” hysterectomies on minors including 16-year-olds and “younger kids”
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) August 25, 2022
“None of the people who were secretly recorded by this activist group deliver care to our patients,” hospital spokeswoman Ariana Ahmadi Perez said. “We do not and have never performed gender-affirming hysterectomies for anyone under the age of 18.”
However, the Twitter account’s claim was bolstered by the hospital’s website which stated, before Thursday, that gender-affirming hysterectomy was available to patients “between the ages of 0-21.” The erroneous statement has since been corrected, Perez told The Post.
This isn’t the first time that Libs of TikTok has directed ire against a hospital’s trans youth clinic.
On August 11, Raichik reposted about 13 tweets and a right-wing “expose” claiming that the Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts was conducting gender-affirming surgery on children as young as two or three years old.
The fact-checking site PolitiFact later debunked the claims, but physicians at the hospitals received so many death threats, harassing calls, and emails that the hospital had to hire extra security and give doctors new guidance on responding to threats.
The hospital’s website says that surgery recipients must be at least 18 years old and have a “persistent, well-documented, gender dysphoria.”
Anti-LGBTQ politicians and activists have falsely claimed that medical providers are giving “irreversible” treatments to trans “children.” However, in reality, young children are only encouraged by medical professionals to continue exploring their gender. Pubescent children are given “puberty blockers” to give them time to stave off further biological changes while they decide on their future course of treatment.
Numerous states have introduced bills seeking to ban gender-affirming care for trans youth even though major U.S. medical associations have said such treatment is essential for the youths’ well-being.
Alabama and Arizona have both passed laws banning gender-affirming care for trans youth. Similar bills remain in committee in the Ohio and New Hampshire legislatures. Similar bills failed to become law in 12 other states.