Tell the FDA: No Transgender Medical Experimentation on Children

Friends,

Please consider signing the critical petition below. As more and more underage children across the country are being identified as transgender and subjected to potentially harmful puberty-blockers and other hormone treatments, our request to Secretary Tom Price that he direct the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a safety alert protecting young children from unnecessary medical experimentation couldn’t be more important.

Your voice matters. Please sign below. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Terry Schilling
Executive Director
American Principles Project

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 To Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services:

We urge you to instruct the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a safety alert against the off-label use of puberty-blocking drugs [GnRH agonists] for children who experience feelings of gender dysphoria, and to investigate the need for a black box warning of the adverse side effects of pediatric use.

In light of a recent report published on the off-label use of pubertal suppressants in increasingly younger children who experience feelings of gender dysphoria while disregarding the drugs’ dangerous side effects and the number of children who grow out of these feelings after going through puberty, we call on the FDA to protect children and their guardians from this dangerous medical fad.

Testing Unproven Theories on Children

The comprehensive report from The New Atlantis shows that the rate of children being referred to gender identity clinics is dramatically rising. Most of these clinics have signed on to a new theory of treatment called “gender affirming” treatment, in which “the therapist accepts, rather than challenges, the patient’s self-understanding of being the opposite sex.”

This theory has yet to be scientifically tested, yet it is being relied on to justify hormone treatment on children beginning with “the earliest evidence of cross-gender behaviors.” This means that children as young as three years old who like toys and clothes of the opposite sex, or who tell their parents that they believe they are the opposite sex, are now being encouraged by doctors and therapists to believe that they are indeed a member of the opposite sex.

The report points out, however, that gender identity changes over time and is shaped by parental approval and social conditions. Young children simply do not understand what it means to be the opposite sex, and according to the best studies, 80-95 percent of these children will come to identify with their bodily sex once they go through puberty.

If puberty is delayed through the use of these drugs, however, these children will be locked into a transgender lifestyle, meaning they will be over 36 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population. The only follow-up study on gender-dysphoric children who were given puberty blockers at a young age found that 100 percent of these children went on to choose cross-sex hormone treatment.

Puberty Blockers Not Harmless, Yet Increasingly Prescribed

The FDA has approved these drugs for the reason they were developed — to fight prostate cancer and uterine pain in adults. The pediatric version of these drugs, such as the most commonly used one, Lupron, have also been used to normalize puberty “for children who undergo puberty too early, a condition known as ‘precocious puberty.’” However, the pediatric version “comes with few warnings about long-term side effects,” and there have been no controlled clinical trials on the use of puberty blocking drugs for gender dysphoria.

The off-label prescription of puberty blockers for gender dysphoria deserves special attention from the FDA because of the alarming rates at which children are referred for this treatment. Since the first sex-transition program opened its doors to children in 2007, 33 gender clinics have followed suit — and that won’t be the limit. There are now 215 pediatric residency programs training our nation’s future pediatricians in gender-affirming theory and treatment.

Yet the only sure thing surrounding this treatment are the health risks that these puberty blockers pose to children. Despite tens of thousands of reports of side effects filed on commonly used puberty blockers — ranging from brittle bones to faulty joints to deadly seizures — as well as the FDA’s investigation into “nervous system and psychiatric events” associated with the use of these drugs, the FDA has yet to issue any additional warnings for the pediatric use of these drugs.

Young adults who were given these drugs as children to delay the onset of early puberty are now describing their brittle bones, cracked spines, and hip replacements as the result of being experimented on as a child. Now more children are being subjected to these risky medical experiments — despite the high rate of desistance for children diagnosed with gender dysphoria and the lack of scientific evidence showing any substantive medical benefit to hormone treatment.

With so little actually known about gender dysphoria — outside the fact that children who are treated for it with puberty-blockers almost never desist, while children who refrain from puberty-blockers desist in high numbers — it is reckless to allow increasing numbers of innocent children to be injected with dangerous, life-altering drugs. Please, Secretary Price, do not allow our nation’s children to become pawns in this politically-motivated epidemic.

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