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UNC, Duke, ECU health centers push back on gender affirmation allegations

Last week, the North Carolina House of Representatives voted largely along party lines to outlaw surgical gender transitions for minors, and to prohibit the use of state taxpayers' money for transition procedures.

Published: May 9, 2023 11:03pm

(The Center Square) -

Following fierce backlash online, three major health care systems in North Carolina are pushing back against allegations each is transitioning toddlers through gender affirming care.

The allegations are linked to intake forms, years old media reports and the hospitals’ websites.

“There is false information circulating on social media related to the gender care that UNC Health provides for patients,” UNC Health posted to Twitter. “It does not include any surgical procedures for any patients under 18. It does not include any research or clinical trials involving children.

“UNC Health remains committed to improving the health and wellbeing of all North Carolinians and we take that mission to heart. We will continue to provide medically necessary care for all of our patients.”

ECU Health, on its Twitter page, said, “ECU Health does not offer gender affirming surgery to minors nor does the health system offer gender affirming transition care to toddlers.”

The statement clarified that “comments and opinions of employees, including those published, in any organization do not necessarily reflect policies or services provided by that organization.

“ECU health is extremely concerned by the escalating rhetoric and threats aimed at team members and medical providers in recent days and especially given those comments are a result of misinformation.”

Duke Health also said on Twitter that “online misinformation about toddlers starting gender transitions at Duke is false. Duke Health has provided high-quality, compassionate, and evidence-based gender care to both adolescents and adults for many years.

“Under these professional guidelines and in accordance with accepted medical standards, hormone therapies are explicitly not provided to children prior to puberty and gender-affirming surgeries are, except in exceedingly rare circumstances, only performed after age 18.”

Last week, the North Carolina House of Representatives voted largely along party lines to outlaw surgical gender transitions for minors, and to prohibit the use of state taxpayers' money for transition procedures. HB808 is now in the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate.

Two days before the vote on HB808, the North Carolina chapter of the Education First Alliance said the Duke University School of Medicine, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and the East Carolina University School of Medicine “are now transitioning toddlers and training future primary care doctors on how to engage in the experimental treatment.”

The report cited media interviews with various officials, including a 2015 WTVD report on services at Duke Medicine’s Gender Clinic, and a 2016 Charlotte Observer story featuring Dr. Deanna Adkins, who runs the clinic.

Education First Alliance, which promotes “pro-American, pro-parent ideals,” pointed to intake forms for UNC’s Gender Equity and Wellness Initiative Program, which offers “guidance on social transitioning and access to resources” and “psychoeducation and support” for children as young as three. The report also linked to a UNC Health webpage that has since been disabled.

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