News and Commentary

Gender Identity Office for Civil Rights Press Release

DHHS’ Rachel Levine Must Retract Dishonest Claims About ‘Safe’ Puberty-Blockers, Or Face Calls for Resignation

Sharing is caring!


Rebecca Stewart: 513-479-3335


DHHS’ Rachel Levine Must Retract Dishonest Claims About ‘Safe’ Puberty-Blockers, Or Face Calls for Resignation

WASHINGTON / August 3, 2022 – The FDA issued a warning on July 1 regarding puberty blockers, alerting doctors to the serious risks of GnRH drugs that can cause brain swelling, loss of vision, and other serious disorders (1). Despite this fact, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine has continued to tout the benefits of “gender-affirming care,” which includes the administration of puberty blockers to children and youth.

In a July 19 tweet, Levine claimed that some medical groups assert that “gender-affirming care is medically necessary, safe, and effective for transgender and non-binary children and adolescents.” (2) Each of these assertions is false:

Medically Necessary: The vast majority of youth who question their gender identity eventually come to accept their biological sex (3).

Safe: The FDA warns that doctors need to monitor patients taking puberty-blockers for “signs and symptoms of pseudotumor cerebri, including headache, papilledema, blurred or loss of vision, diplopia, pain behind the eye or pain with eye movement, tinnitus, dizziness, and nausea.” (1)

Effective: Dr. Michelle Cretella has written in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, “There is not a single large, randomized, controlled study that documents the alleged benefits and potential harms to gender-dysphoric children from pubertal suppression.” (4)

In a second statement posted on July 27, Levine stated emphatically that “gender-affirming care is lifesaving, medically necessary, age appropriate, and a critical tool for health care providers.” (5)

In response, former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard charged the Biden Administration with promoting “child abuse” by endorsing gender-affirming care (6).

A rally will be held in Washington, DC on August 11 calling on President Biden to disavow his gender identity campaign (7).

According to a recent UCLA report, 1.4% of all youth ages 13-17 self-identify as transgender (8).