JUNE 4, 2019
The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) and the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) applaud the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for issuing a proposed rule that restores the scientific definition of sex and moral conscience protections to healthcare.
“Treating patients in accordance with gender identity, as opposed to their biological sex, could lead to tragic results,” said Dr. Michelle Cretella, executive director of ACPeds. “Health maintenance, disease presentation, and therapies can differ according to sex. These things do not vary according to peoples’ internal perceptions of their sex.”
The previous administration’s HHS rule redefined sex discrimination to include both gender identity, which it defined as one’s internal sense of being “male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female,” and termination of pregnancy. This definition troubled many physicians.
“We commend the HHS for proposing a revised rule consistent with both science and the First Amendment of the Constitution,” said Dr. Donna Harrison, executive director of AAPLOG. “This will allow physicians of conscience to practice evidence-based medicine consistent with the Hippocratic Oath.”
Dr. Cretella originally made her point about treating patients based on biological sex in a joint letter and petition to HHS on December 4, 2018. As she explained now and then, sex does not and cannot change. An individual who identifies as transgender remains either a biological male or female. This objective biological fact has bearing upon their health even beyond sex-specific illnesses.
Furthermore, when the previous administration redefined sex discrimination in relation to termination of pregnancy, it compelled physicians to violate the Hippocratic Oath, which forbids performing or referring for abortion.
For laws and policies to safeguard the health of all Americans they must be based on biological facts; not on ideological falsehoods and at the expense of physician conscience. ACPeds and AAPLOG strongly support the common sense changes in this proposed rule.