Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN) is demanding an investigation into Vanderbilt Medical Center’s Pediatric Transgender Clinic program, calling their actions an “abomination, not just to our state, but to the whole country.”
During an appearance on Newsmax’s “America Right Now” on Saturday, the Tennessee congresswoman called out the medical center’s pediatric transgender program.
“Vanderbilt is a fine institution but the words pediatric [and] transgender should never be used in the same sentence,” Harshbarger said. “It’s all about the money. All you have to do is follow the money, and you’ll find your answers.”
Vanderbilt has denied claims that the medical center was pursuing these treatments as money-making schemes, as well as claims that it has punished employees for objecting to the controversial gender-affirming treatment program.
These claims were made in a tweet thread from Daily Wire host Matt Walsh, in which he asserted that “Vanderbilt drugs, chemically castrates, and performs double mastectomies on minors” and individuals who decide “not to be involved in transition surgeries due to ‘religious beliefs’ will face ‘consequences.’”
BREAKING: My team and I have been investigating the transgender clinic at Vanderbilt here in Nashville. Vanderbilt drugs, chemically castrates, and performs double mastectomies on minors. But it gets worse. Here is what we found. Let's start at the beginning.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) September 20, 2022
Harshbarger is not the only one calling for an investigation following Walsh’s reporting. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) and other Republican officials in the state have called out the clinic, with the governor arguing that the program raises “serious moral, ethical and legal concerns” and stating that an investigation is necessary.
“They look at this as pediatric care to children, starting at age 6,” Harshbarger told Newsmax. “Anybody that is a parent or a grandparent would say there is no way these children’s brains have developed.”
“You can cause confusion and chaos, and it’s the very teachers and our healthcare providers that you should absolutely trust that are causing this confusion,” she added. “They need to be held accountable, and we need to do an investigation; and that’s exactly what our governor’s doing.”
Vanderbilt claimed in a statement that the hospital “requires parental consent to treat a minor patient who is to be seen for issues related to transgender care and never refuses parental involvement.”
The hospital went on to assert that its policies do allow employees to decline to participate in any treatment that they find to be morally objectionable, which includes “employees whose personal or religious beliefs do not support gender-affirming care for transgender persons.”
Meanwhile, Harshbarger is arguing that Tennessee is a state that believes in “faith and family and freedom in the flag” and thus a program like Vanderbilt’s should not be allowed.
“If it’s going on in Tennessee, where else is it occurring that people haven’t even thought about it?” the Tennessee congresswoman asked. “We need to start asking questions. That’s an attack on freedom of religion for one thing, and here we go.”
“You think you’re sheltered as a red state, but you’re not,” Harshbarger added. “It’s up to us as legislators to step in and say this is wrong. We have to be a voice for those parents and our freedoms … these children are the future. I’m a mother and a grandmother and, of course, I’m going to stand up.”
She went on to note that “adolescent brains” are not capable of deciding whether they should undergo an “irreversible procedure.”
“These puberty blockers are one thing, but when you go into cross-sex hormones — and as a pharmacist, I can assure you that they don’t even know the long-term effects of these drugs,” Harshbarger stated.
"This is an abomination not just to our state but to the whole country that this is an accepted form of what they call care."
— Newsmax (@newsmax) September 24, 2022