Marjorie Taylor Greene accuses mother of “child abuse” for supporting her trans child

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
Marjorie Taylor Greene Photo: Screenshot

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) accused a mother of “child abuse” for helping her transgender daughter access gender-affirming health care.

Greene shared a video posted by hate influencer Chaya Raichik (who goes by “Libs of TikTok” online). It appears to be a clip from a 2012 segment on NBC’s show Dateline. The segment featured Josie Romero, a child undergoing her gender transition. Josie had identified as a girl since age three. She had to move several times as a child to escape bullying, and had been visiting Dr. Johanna Olson at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for several years by the time she recieved puberty blockers.

In the clip, a doctor gives Romero a puberty blocker injection, and she cries. In context, it’s clear that she’s not crying because she doesn’t want puberty blockers but because needles hurt. Conservatives often use children crying during painful medical procedures as an argument against such procedures. For example, the New York Post published an entire series of photos in 2022 of children crying while they got the COVID-19 vaccine.

“What you’re watching is one of the greatest medical scandals in modern history,” Raichik wrote about the clip of Josie crying in 2012. “This video should infuriate you.”

Greene shared the video and commented, “This is child abuse!!” She also called for Congress to pass her bill to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth, claiming that it would “make it illegal to perform this on children!!!”

Greene is incorrect about her bill. Her bill allows cisgender youth to obtain the same medical procedures that would be denied to transgender youth — many cisgender kids get puberty blockers to delay precocious puberty. Moreover, if her complaint is about the fact that the syringe in the video is painful, her bill does nothing to stop kids from getting all sorts of injections.

Despite Greene’s claims, gender-affirming care is supported by all major medical organizations in the U.S. and is the standard of care for transgender youth. Puberty blockers have been shown to drastically reduce lifelong suicide risk for transgender people.

In the full Dateline segment, Josie’s mother, Venessia Romero, talks about how her daughter identified as a girl repeatedly and consistently since she was three years old and how she once caught her trying to remove her penis with nail clippers.

“It was like she was building up her determination to go through with it,” Venessia said. “Then I ran in, literally, and I grabbed the nail clippers from her hand and squeezed her to me.”

In the segment, Josie explains that she understands that she could have bled to death if she had gone through with it. A voice off-camera asks her if she knows better than to do that now.

“I want to though,” she responded.

“I’d rather have a living transgender daughter than a dead son,” Venessia said.

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