Frankel, DeLissio, Daley call for postponement of transgender youth hearing

Trio cite concerns over testifier availability

HARRISBURG, March 11 – Democratic Health Committee Chairman Dan Frankel, Health Care Subcommittee Chairperson Pamela DeLissio and Rep. Mary Jo Daley today called on Republican Health Care Subcommittee Chairman Paul Schemel to postpone a hearing scheduled for Thursday on care for transgender youth. The COVID-19 health crisis is precluding two of the experts in the field that can represent and explain the current standard of care for gender affirming medicine from appearing.

Without mainstream medical experts to shed light on the positions explicitly backed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the Endocrine Society and others, the hearing is left with panelists representing unconventional viewpoints that can place vulnerable children at risk.

A Harvard study released in January found that withholding medical care to transgender children increases the risk of suicide in that population.

The plan to push forward in the absence of experts who adhere to the widely recognized medical standard of care will result in unchallenged testimony from the testifiers. One testifier is the leader of a group that is identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group for its use of misinformation to oppose the very existence of LGBTQ people.

Frankel, DeLissio and Daley reaffirmed their commitment to holding a hearing that would give members the opportunity to hear from the mainstream medical experts based in Pennsylvania; that means scheduling the meeting when those experts can participate without the serious distractions caused by COVID-19.