BOSTON — Three major medical associations have asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate and prosecute people who are threatening violence against children’s hospitals and physicians that provide gender-affirming health care.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the Children’s Hospital Association wrote to Garland on Monday. Their demands come amid a spate of threats against doctors and institutions that provide medical care for transgender kids, sometimes including hormones or surgery for older teens.
Children’s hospitals nationwide have significantly increased security and are working with law enforcement, while some providers now need constant security, the associations said.
Garland did not immediately comment publicly, and a spokesperson did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Tuesday. Massachusetts US Attorney Rachael Rollins said this summer that the Department of Justice will ensure equal protection of transgender people under the law.
Rollins said she would not let “hate-based criminal activity” continue in her district afterthat its doctors and other staffers were being threatened with violence over its surgical program for transgender youths. The hospital is home to the first pediatric and adolescent transgender health program in the United States. Other US children’s hospitals were also being harassed online.
The medical associations said in their letter that the social media threats have continued, coupled with harassing emails, phone calls and protesters at health care sites, causing “elevated and justifiable fear among families, patients and staff.” One hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit went on lockdown because of a bomb threat, they said.
“From Boston to Akron to Nashville to Seattle, children’s hospitals, academic health systems and physicians are being targeted and threatened for providing evidence-based health care,” the letter states. “These attacks have not only made it difficult and dangerous for institutions and practices