Dr. Rachel Levine, former health director for Pennsylvania, has been nominated by President Biden to be assistant secretary of health and human services.
She would be the first transgender nominee confirmed by the Senate. And she won’t state her views about whether children should have the option to undergo sex change operations, something HHS would no doubt have a role in.
At her hearing today, Sen. Rand Paul wanted a simple comment on the matter. A legitimate question of policy. Frighteningly enough, he could not obtain it and was condemned by a U.S. senator for asking.
“American culture is now normalizing the idea that minors can be given hormones to prevent their biological development of their secondary sexual characteristics,” Paul said. “Dr. Levine, do you believe that minors are capable of making such a life-changing decision as changing one’s sex?”
“Senator, thank you for your interest in this question,” replied Levine, who has been nominated to be assistant secretary of health. “Transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field with robust research and standards of care that have been developed,” Levine said. “If I am fortunate enough to be confirmed as the assistant secretary of health, I will look forward to working with you and your office and coming to your office and discussing the particulars of the standards of care for transgender medicine.”
Paul could not believe that Levine would not address the question about whether children should be allowed to decide to be mutilated.
“What I am alarmed at is that you’re not willing to say, absolutely, minors shouldn’t be making decisions to amputate their breasts or to amputate their genitalia,” he said. “I am alarmed that you won’t say, with certainty, that minors should not have the ability to make the decision to take hormones that will affect them for the rest of their life. Will you make a more firm decision on whether or not minors should be involved in these decisions?””
She gave almost the exact same response, obviously quite scripted.
That prompted liberal Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., to say Paul was being “harmful” toward Levine.
“I appreciated your thoughtful and medically informed response to Sen. Paul’s questions earlier in the hearing,” she said. “It is really critical to me that our nominees be treated with respect and that our questions focus on their qualifications and the work ahead of us rather than on ideological and harmful misrepresentations like those we heard from Sen. Paul earlier, and I will focus on that as chair of this committee.”