E&C Republicans Press HHS Secretary Becerra for Scientific Literature Used to Justify Irreversible Gender Transition Procedures for Children

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA) wrote to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra asking for a briefing and information on what evidenced-based scientific and pediatric medical literature the department relies upon to promote gender transition procedures for children.


“Officials at HHS contend that sex reassignment procedures on minors are unanimously accepted medical practice, despite a growing body of research from European medical experts and authorities warning otherwise. According to a recent HHS production in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), it seems HHS’s position rests entirely on a two-page publicly available brochure advocating for such drastic, life-altering procedures on children. The Committee seeks information to better understand the body of medical information HHS has consulted to establish its policy promoting sex reassignment for children.” 


“All of HHS’s medical treatment recommendations, especially medical treatment recommendations for children, should be based on rigorous and well-established research that has definitively illustrated the long-term benefits of performing such procedures. Therefore, it is puzzling that HHS actively advocates for off-label use of puberty blockers without justification—such as substantial evidence gathered through a randomized controlled trial. In doing so, HHS is effectively advocating for unregulated medical experimentation on children.” 


  • Under the Biden administration, HHS has advocated for sex reassignment procedures, including the use of serum puberty blockers.   
  • These are chemical hormonal suppressants that have a history of predominantly being used to treat U.S. children experiencing precocious puberty (i.e., the early onset of puberty affecting about 1% of U.S. children); they also have been used on sex-offenders and are known to stunt normal childhood development for children unaffected by precocious puberty.   
  • Contrary to HHS’s proclamation that “there is no argument among medical professionals,” a substantial number of medical experts from around the world have publicly denounced sex transition procedures on minors as irresponsible, including a July 2023, letter signed by clinicians and researchers published in the Wall Street Journal. 
  • On March 12, 2024, the National Health Service (NHS) of England announced it will no longer widely allow puberty blockers to be administered to children.   
  • A United Kingdom court noted the obvious about administering puberty blocking chemicals onto children: “[i]t is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers. It is doubtful that a child aged 14 or 15 could understand and weigh the long-term risks and consequences of the administration of puberty blockers.” 
  • Several European countries have restricted “sex change surgeries, hormones, and puberty blockers for children.”  
  • In Finland, Dr. Riittakerttu Kaltiala, a pediatrician specializing in gender medicine reportedly noted, “using a child’s preferred name and pronouns—is ‘not a neutral act’ but rather one that can solidify what is otherwise likely to be a passing phase into a more permanent state of mind, or ‘identity,’ and put the minor on a path to drugs and surgeries.” 

CLICK HERE to read the full letter.