Kentucky Senator Rand Paul grilled President Joseph Biden, Jr.'s transgender Department of Health and Human Services assistant secretary nominee with probing questions on sex change procedures he likened to genital mutilation.
The Blaze reported that Paul repeatedly asked the transgender nominee Dr. Rachel Levine, who was born Richard, because his questions were avoided and not answered.
"Biden nominee refuses to answer my question about whether the government should override a parent's consent to allow a minor to receive puberty blockers or surgical amputation of breasts or genitalia," Paul said on Twitter on Thursday with a link to YouTube on the matter.
The Blaze said Paul pressed the nominee on whether the government should override parental consent for minors with gender dysphoria, especially on matters of taking hormones and of pursuing surgery for sex change. He initially asked Levine if minors were capable of making life altering decisions such as an irreversible medical procedure as a sex change, which he said is genital mutilation.
"Genital mutilation has been nearly universally condemned," Paul began his argument during the Senate inquiry, "Genital mutilation is considered particularly egregious because, as the WHO notes, it is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children."
"Most genital mutilation is not typically performed by force, but as WHO notes, by social convention. Social norm. The social pressure to conform. To do what others do and have been doing as well as the need to be accepted socially and the fear of being rejected by the community," he raised.
Paul went on to say that "American culture" has normalized the "idea that minors can be given hormones to prevent their biological development of their secondary sexual characteristics."
He compared hormonal interruption of puberty to surgical mutilation that can "permanently alter and prevent secondary sexual characteristics". He cited a report by the American College of Pediatricians that said "80-95% of prepubertal children with gender dysphoria will experience resolution by late adolescence if not exposed to medical intervention and social affirmation".
After revealing that Levine supports "both allowing minors to be given hormone blockers to prevent them from going through puberty, as well as surgical destruction of a minor's genitalia", Paul asked levine if he believed that "minors are capable of making such a life-changing decision as changing one's sex".
"Transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field with robust research and standards of care that have been developed and if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed as the assistant secretary of health, I'll 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," Levine said.
Levine responded the same when Paul asked a second time on whether the former supports the government intervening to override parental consent on the issue. He also cited a case in the UK where a woman had a sex change to appear male during her teenage years only to regret that decision now.
"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," Paul told Levine.
According to The Hill, Paul was criticized for his questioning of Levine, who is a pediatrician that previously served as the Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary. The Hill said other senators questioned Levine on public health issues such as mental health and COVID-19 while Paul zoned in on transgender treatment of minors.
"Rand Paul chose devotion to anti-LGBTQ extremist groups over substance and the health of our nation--and does not deserve to hold public office," remarked LGBTQ Victory Institute Executive Director Ruben Gonzales to The Hill.
"His remarks echo the talking points of the same organizations who said gay men deserved AIDS and that LGBTQ people should be criminalized. He explicitly attacked vulnerable trans youth for his own perceived political gain and it was a disgrace," Gonzales added. "Dr. Levine is an extremely qualified nominee whose experience can help America effectively tackle this pandemic, but he took this opportunity to give voice to hate groups instead."