Medical Association Statements Supporting Trans Youth Healthcare and Against Discriminatory Bills

Major medical associations have issued statements supporting gender-affirming care for transgender youth and against bills seeking to criminalize it.

They reinforce gender-affirming treatment is safe and lifesaving for trans children.

WPATH and USPATH also note how sports bans are a danger for all girls as well as for schools and youth programs.

Click the links to see the full statements.

October 12, 2022 The World Health Organization (WHO): "WHO's role, to promote health for all, means it is committed to inclusive healthcare and equitable access for trans, gender diverse and all other people. WHO's understanding and commitment to transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people's health and wellbeing has evolved and improved, but there is still further to go." 

August 10, 2022 American Academy of Pediatrics: “There is strong consensus among the most prominent medical organizations worldwide that evidence-based, gender-affirming care for transgender children and adolescents is medically necessary and appropriate. It can even be lifesaving. The decision of whether and when to start gender-affirming treatment, which does not necessarily lead to hormone therapy or surgery, is personal and involves careful consideration by each patient and their family…

Critics of our gender-affirming care policy mischaracterize it as pushing medical or surgical treatments on youth; in fact, the policy calls for the opposite: a holistic, collaborative, compassionate approach to care with no end goal or agenda… Yet outside of our organization, there is a dangerous movement taking place, led by extremists, targeting youth who are receiving gender-affirming care, and vilifying the pediatricians providing their care. The result has been rampant disinformation about what this care is and real threats of violence against some of our members.

In some states, efforts are underway to restrict access to gender-affirming care and criminalize the pediatricians who provide it. This has already had a chilling effect on access to care in these communities, and other efforts across the country are focused on doing the same. The people who suffer the most from this discrimination are of course the children and teens just trying to live their lives as their true selves. Pediatricians will not stay silent as these lies are waged against our patients and our peers." - Moira Szilagyi, MD, PhD, FAAP, 2022 president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

February 23, 2022 - The Endocrine Society condemns the directive by Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordering the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate any reported instances of Texas children receiving gender-affirming care as “child abuse.” This policy rejects evidence-based transgender medical care and will restrict access to care for teenagers experiencing gender incongruence or dysphoria.
Health care providers should not be punished for providing evidenced-based care that is supported by major international medical groups— including the Endocrine Society, American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics—and Clinical Practice Guidelines.
Medical evidence, not politics, should inform treatment decisions. We call on policymakers to rescind this directive and allow physicians to provide evidence-based care, including to prescribe medications to delay puberty.

Endocrine Society: “These policies criminalize physicians' efforts to provide needed medical care and disregard widely accepted medical evidence and clinical practice guidelines. 'The treatment of transgender and gender diverse youth should be governed by the best available medical evidence, not politics,' said Joshua D. Safer, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.E., co-author of the Society's Clinical Practice Guideline and position statement on transgender medicine. 'When caring for transgender and gender diverse youth, physicians and mental health professionals must be able to freely practice and choose the best available treatment options in consultation with the patients and their parents, as they would when treating any other condition.'" (April 14, 2021)

February 25, 2022The Journal of the American Medical Association published new research on gender-affirming care for trans and nonbinary youth ages 13-20, finding that “including puberty blockers and gender-affirming hormones, was associated with 60% lower odds of moderate or severe depression and 73% lower odds of suicidality over a 12-month follow-up."

American Medical Association: “Proponents of these disturbing bills often falsely assert that transgender care for minors is extreme or experimental. In fact, clinical guidelines established by professional medical organizations for the care of minors promote supportive interventions based on the current evidence and that enable young people to explore and live as the gender that they choose.” (March 26, 2021)

American Psychiatric Association: Our organizations, which represent nearly 600,000 physicians and medical students, oppose any laws and regulations that discriminate against transgender and gender-diverse individuals or interfere in the confidential relationship between a patient and their physician. That confidentiality is critical to allow patients to trust physicians to properly counsel, diagnose and treat. Our organizations are strongly opposed to any legislation or regulation that would interfere with the provision of evidence-based patient care for any patient, affirming our commitment to patient safety. We recognize health as a basic human right for every person, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.” (Joint statement with the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Osteopathic Association; April 2, 2021)

World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and the United States Professional Association for Transgender Health (USPATH): “strongly oppose legislation recently signed by the Governor of Arkansas and being considered in many other states. These laws and bills will bar schools and other organizations from allowing girls with diverse gender identities to participate in athletic competition with other girls. The legislation will serve to increase the marginalization already experienced by trans girls, to pose harm to organizations that are supportive of trans rights, and to cause pain to cisgender girls who may have this law applied to them punitively. The legislation not only bars trans girls from participating in girls’ sports, but it allows others to force girls, transgender or just perceived as such, to undergo invasive medical procedures to ascertain internal and external reproductive anatomy, testosterone levels, and genetic makeup. Additionally, schools and other organizations will be required to join in the marginalization of trans girls under threat of monetary loss from lawsuits allowed under the legislation. The legislation focuses on a problem that does not exist but serves as a mechanism to create a punitive environment for young trans people.” (March 31, 2021)

American Academy of Pediatrics: “The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that youth who identify as transgender have access to comprehensive, gender-affirming, and developmentally appropriate health care that is provided in a safe and inclusive clinical space. We also recommend that playing on sports teams helps youth develop self-esteem, correlates positively with overall mental health, and appears to have a protective effect against suicide. These bills not only ignore these recommendations, they undermine them.” (March 16, 2021)

Pediatric Endocrine Society: “Treatment for prepubertal transgender and gender diverse children never includes medical or surgical interventions however it is helpful for them to be supported in living in their desired gender role.” (December 16, 2020)

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: “(AACAP) supports the use of current evidence-based clinical care with minors. AACAP strongly opposes any efforts – legal, legislative, and otherwise – to block access to these recognized interventions. Blocking access to timely care has been shown to increase youths’ risk for suicidal ideation and other negative mental health outcomes. Consistent with AACAP’s policy against conversion therapy, AACAP recommends that youth and their families formulate an individualized treatment plan with their clinician that addresses the youth’s unique mental health needs under the premise that all gender identities and expressions are not inherently pathological.” (November 8, 2019)