How a nonprofit led by doctors is using 'recycled false claims' to push anti-trans legislation: report
A nonprofit launched in 2022 is working to heavily influence state houses to vote against gender-affirming care for youth, The Associated Press (AP) reports.
Do No Harm, founded by kidney specialist and University of Pennsylvania medical school professor Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, is "producing model legislation that an Associated Press analysis found has been used in at least three states" — Montana, Arkansas and Iowa.
The organization's mission, according to its website, is to "protect healthcare from a radical, divisive, and discriminatory ideology."
READ MORE: Iowa newspaper accuses Gov. Kim Reynolds and GOP of taking a 'victory lap' for exclusion over anti-trans bill
Per AP, Goldfarb wrote and "published a book, Take Two Aspirin and Call Me By My Pronouns: Why Turning Doctors into Social Justice Warriors is Destroying American Medicine, along with a similar op-ed in the Wall Street Journal."
More than 150 Penn medical school alumni signed a letter criticizing Goldfarb in 2019 for his Wall Street Journal op-ed. And last year, he was the target of an online petition after he reacted to an article in a scientific journal about the academic success rates of medical residency students of color at several institutions by suggesting in a tweet that 'Could it be they were just less good at being residents?'
Dr. Meredithe McNamara, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine said, "Every single line of this contains some sort of falsehood."
She added, "My overall takeaway from this is that there are a lot of recycled false claims about gender dysphoria, standards of care, safety, evidence and medical authority which seems like it's right out of the disinformation playbook."
READ MORE: Nearly 400 anti-LGBTQ bills are working their way through 38 state legislatures
Studies have shown that transgender youth who experience gender dysphoria – the belief that the gender they identify with doesn't match the gender they were assigned at birth – are more likely to feel depressed or anxious, harm themselves or attempt suicide.
Montana's only transgender lawmaker, Democratic State Rep. Zooey Zephyr told her GOP colleagues during a House floor speech last month, "One family's trans teenager attempted to take her life while watching a hearing on one of the anti-trans bills."
Furthermore, contrary to the health practitioners behind Do No Harm, in 2020, CNN reported a group of 200 nurses, physicians, counselors and social workers published an open letter, saying, "To put it plainly, gender-affirming care saves lives and allows trans young people to thrive."
READ MORE: 'Not being hyperbolic': Montana Democrat says GOP-backed anti-trans bills have led to suicide
The Associated Press' full report is here. CNN's report is here.
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