June 16, 2023
Dear Members of Congress,
Independent Women’s Voice, which fights to enhance people’s freedom, opportunities, and well-being, is proud to support the Children’s Hospital GME (CHGME) Support Reauthorization Act of 2023, introduced by Representative Dan Crenshaw.
The Children’s Hospital GME (CHGME) Support Reauthorization Act amends Title III of the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize payments to children’s hospitals that train pediatric residents through graduate medical education programs. The 2023 bill includes the stipulation that CHGME funding is prohibited from going to children’s hospitals that perform medically unnecessary gender-transition treatments or procedures on minors. The bill specifies that nothing in the text should be misconstrued as preventing payments for hospitals that provide mental and behavioral health services to children with gender dysphoria.
In an effort to recruit new pediatricians and address the shortage of pediatric providers, the CHGME program was established in 1999 to allow hospital graduate medical education (GME) departments to train resident physicians. Today, while many children’s hospitals in the U.S. provide high-quality patient care, some hospitals have begun offering so-called “gender-affirming care” to children, advising them to take puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, as well as undergo major surgeries to remove or alter healthy body parts.
Tragically, many young people experience irreversible mental, emotional, and physical damage after medically transitioning, including loss of bone density, diminished cardiovascular health, loss of fertility, and impaired sexual function. In fact, health authorities in the U.K., Sweden, Norway, and Finland have reduced minors’ access to these medical interventions after systematic reviews of evidence found that the risks of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones outweigh the possible benefits.
It is imperative that the U.S. medical community re-embrace the ethic of first doing no harm and stop rushing to prescribe treatments that aren’t supported by sound science and that come with significant risks to children’s mental, emotional, and physical development. As Representative Crenshaw put it, “In a place where ‘do no harm’ is the ultimate guiding principle, there is no excuse to ever perform these treatments that permanently alter a child’s physiology.”
We couldn’t agree more. Thank you, Representative Crenshaw, for your leadership on this critical issue. We urge all members of Congress to join him in prioritizing the health and well-being of America’s children.
Hadley Heath Manning
Vice President for Policy
Independent Women’s Voice