Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins | Image via IL Family Institute, date unknown

Sorry for that headline. Here are the three hate groups involved:

  1. American Family Association (AFA)
  2. Illinois Family Institute (IFI)
  3. American College of Pediatricians (ACpeds)

According to Bob Kellogg, a propagandist for AFA: Parents warned not to fall for docs’ gender-identity thesis.

The nation’s largest association of pediatricians has released a dangerous and misleading policy statement about transgender intervention, according to a cultural issues writer.

This so-called “thesis” is actually a well researched paper by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Its conclusion is that the correct approach to gender/sex incongruity is gender-affirming care. The paper cites nearly 100 studies.

And just who is this expert challenging the American Academy of Pediatrics?

Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute contends school officials and parents may be easily misled by the AAP’s report. “Anytime you have a big organization come out and issue a statement, it affirms this ideology,” she laments. “In the public’s eyes it says Oh – well, if the AAP says that, then it must be true.”

When the nation’s leading pediatric organization publishes a well-researched paper, it probably represents the best available medical science.

This part is my personal favorite:

She says the American College of Pediatricians, a much more conservative organization, broke away from the AAP and its liberal ideology.

“The left will dismiss the American College of Pediatricians as a right-wing fringe group. They’re not,” Higgins emphasizes. “They were all members of the AAP; I think they’re still members of the AAP – they just decided the AAP no longer works for the health of children.” [Editor’s note: The AAP motto is “Dedicated to the Health of All Children.”]

Actually this handful of doctors decided that the AAP no longer works for conservative Christianity. These are people who insist that their belief system, based on faith, should be merged with evidence-based science.

More importantly, with a mere $100 thousand annual budget, ACPeds does not have the resources to conduct any research. Its policies are based upon scripture. ACPeds is, indeed, a far-right fringe group. It places politics and religion above the best interests of children and their parents.

I have said this before. If parents are to be warned, as Mr. Kellogg suggests, it should be against using any pediatrician who displays a fancy ACPeds plaque on the wall. Grab your kids and run because that is a doctor who places religious duty above best medical practices. Who in their right mind would want their child to be diagnosed and treated according to scripture?

For the record, ACPeds was formed when the American Academy of Pediatrics determined that adoption by gay couples did not pose a threat to the health and well-being of children. That was 16 years ago and it should be clear by now that the AAP position was correct.

Higgins continues

In fact, Dr. Michelle Cretella, executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, calls it a “foundational lie” being perpetrated by the AAP and Rafferty that individuals have a “sex” and something else called “gender.”

Michelle Cretella has not practiced medicine in years. Currently unlicensed she is relieved of continuing education requirements. Cretella has never published research to a peer-reviewed academic journal. Her positions are based upon the catechism of the Catholic Church. Cretella is a proponent of thoroughly discredited conversion therapy for LGBT people. That is religion; not science.

The overwhelming conclusion of medical scientists is that gender and natal sex are separate constructs. The eunuchs at the Vatican disagree. Who to believe if you are a parent?

In an article for the Illinois Family Institute, Higgins points out that fewer than 60 members of the 67,000-member AAP created and voted for the new policy. Most of the other members did not even see it, she says, let alone vote on it.

Higgins is stating conjecture as fact. She has no idea how many people were involved in formulating the gender-affirming care model. More importantly, it does not matter. Those involved were among the most knowledgeable members of the organization when it comes to transgender issues and, as I said, the paper itself cites nearly 100 studies. The lead author, Jason Richard Rafferty, has an MD from Harvard as well as a master’s in public health and a master’s in education. Which medical school did Ms. Higgins attend? What peer-reviewed research has she published?

The only reason that anyone might disagree with the recommended approach is their religious objection which has no place in medical science. Cretella and Higgins are pushing something that does not exist: A cure for gender dysphoria. They are doing so because of their religious objection.

Ms. Higgins and Dr. Cretella do not cite any peer-reviewed research to support their alternative view. Nor do they explain why, in their opinions, the AAP policy is incorrect. Their aim is to scare and misinform the general public because, for religious reasons, they do not approve of transgender people. One does not require facts to exploit paranoia.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.