Rand Paul Pushes for Sanity in the Transgender Debate

February 26, 2021

Keira Bell can never get her childhood back. And her body, a scarred and mangled reminder, reminds her every day. "I am living in a world where I don't fit in as male or as female. I am stuck between two sexes." Now 24, she's dedicated her life to stop teenagers from making the same mistake. Unfortunately, Keira won't get any help from the Biden administration. As Thursday's eye-opening hearing made painfully clear, this is one White House that doesn't mind how many children its agenda hurts.

Like most parents, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has watched this train of transgender activism barrel down the tracks at speeds no one can believe. In just a handful of years, he's seen the Left's activists work our country over, softening it up for the end of the sexes, the mutilation of young healthy bodies, the deconstruction of science and medicine. He's listened to his colleagues call the ravaging of girls' sports "tolerance" and the outrage over boys in female locker rooms "hate." Now, stuck with a president who thinks transgenderism is the most pressing issue of our time, it's starting to sink in: this crisis is real. And our country is in deep, deep trouble.

Americans realized just how much this week, when Joe Biden asked the Senate to confirm Rachel Levine, a man who identifies as a woman, as second-in-command at HHS. Senator Paul, not caring how the Left would savage him, decided to give the nation a glimpse of what Levine's views would mean for "health care." A doctor himself, Paul put Levine on the spot on an issue that's getting fierce pushback in the states. "Dr. Levine you have supported both allowing minors to be given hormone blockers to prevent them from going through puberty, as well as surgical destruction of a minor's genitalia. Like surgical mutilation, hormonal interruption of puberty can permanently alter and prevent secondary sexual characteristics," he pointed out. Not to mention, Paul went on, that scientific research shows that 80-95 percent of confused children grow out of these feelings. That said, he asked, "Do you believe that minors are capable of making such a life-changing decision as changing one's sex?"

Levine avoided the question, responding instead that medicine is a "very complex and nuanced field" and promised to visit Paul's office and talk about the "particulars" if the Senate confirmed him. The Kentucky doctor, recognizing the evasion for what it was, wasn't deterred. "The specific question was about minors," he reiterated. "Do you support the government intervening to override the parent's consent to give a child puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and/or amputation surgery of breasts and genitalia?You have said that you're willing to accelerate the protocols for street kids. I'm alarmed that poor kids with no parents, who are homeless and distraught, you would just go through this and allow that to happen to a minor."

Paul brought up Keira, saying he would hope that Levine would have compassion for a young girl like her, who decided at 14 after reading about transgenders on the internet, "Well, maybe that's what I am." Nobody stopped her from getting puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and having her breasts amputated. "I should have been challenged on the claims that I was making for myself," Keira told judges later.

"But here's what she says now," Paul told the chamber, "and this is a very insightful decision from someone who made a mistake but was led to believe this was a good thing by the medical community. 'I made a brash decision as a teenager, as a lot of teenagers do, trying to find confidence and happiness, except now the rest of my life will be negatively affected,' she said... [T]he medicalized gender transitioning was a very temporary superficial fix for a very complex identity issue.

"What I'm alarmed at," Paul shook is head, "is that you're not willing to say absolutely, minors shouldn't be making decisions to amputate their breasts or to amputate their genitalia. For most of our history, we believe that minors don't have full rights, and the parents need to be involved. So I'm alarmed that you won't say with certainty that minors should not have the ability to make the decision to take hormones. It will affect them for the rest of their life." Pausing, he gave Levine a chance to answer again. "Will you make a [firmer] decision on whether or not minors should be involved in these decisions?" Again, Levine repeated that it was a "complex and nuanced question." A frustrated Paul fired back, "Let it go into the record that the witness refused to answer the question," and then blasted the Left's double standard.

"For most of the history of medicine, we wouldn't let you have a cut sewn up in the ER [without a parent's permission]. But you're willing to let a minor take things that prevent their puberty. And you think they get that back? You give a woman testosterone enough that she grows a beard -- do you think she's going to go back looking like a woman? When you stop the testosterone, you have permanently changed them. Infertility is another problem.

None of these drugs have been approved for this. They're all being used off label. I find it ironic that the Left who went nuts over hydroxychloroquine being used possibly for COVID are not alarmed that these hormones are being used off label. There [are] no long term studies. We don't know what happens to them. We do know that there are dozens and dozens of people have been through this who regret this... permanent change happened to them. And, you know, if you've ever been around children, 14-year-olds can't make this decision. In the gender dysphoria clinic in England, 10 percent of the kids are between the ages of three and 10. We should be outraged that someone's talking to a three-year-old about changing their sex."

And in the states, plenty are. While the president moves at warp speed to sterilize our children and trap them in a lifestyle of misery and pain, more leaders are stepping up to say, "Not here." As many as 28 bills are moving through the states to stop the Left from preying on teenagers and young kids. In places like Arkansas, one of the best pieces of legislation, the Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, is giving other states a good guide in how to stop medical professionals from dispensing certain drugs or performing gender transition procedures. If your state is debating the issue, make sure your elected officials know you support them. If you wonder what's at stake -- or need help understanding the science of this complicated issue -- don't miss FRC's "Do Not Sterilize Children" guide.