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Two leading children’s hospitals — Harvard-affiliated Boston Children’s Hospital and Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. — have generated a massive brouhaha surrounding their marketing of “gender-affirming” hysterectomies for young women caught up in the swirl of gender confusion.
A few years ago, U.S. hospital systems reported a “downward trend in traditional hysterectomy,” noting a growing preference — especially among younger women — for less radical measures, but now it would appear that children’s hospitals are trumpeting less “traditional” rationales for invasive hysterectomies to keep surgical revenues flowing.
Hysterectomy involves the inpatient or outpatient surgical removal of the uterus — and sometimes also “the cervix, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and other surrounding structures” — either vaginally, abdominally or laparoscopically (with or without robotic help).
Although an estimated half a million U.S. women undergo hysterectomies annually, some in the medical community — and many women’s health advocates — condemn the surgery’s overuse and its disproportionate targeting of minority populations.
A 2021 study noted a decades-long pattern of disproportionately higher rates of hysterectomy in Black compared to white women “in multiple settings and geographies,” citing a 39% higher rate in North Carolina (2011–2013) as one example.
One health expert estimates 9 out of 10 hysterectomies are medically unnecessary, with a variety of less drastic alternatives available for the procedure’s heretofore most common indications, including abnormal uterine bleeding and noncancerous growths called uterine fibroids.
The head of the National Women’s Health Network “advise[s] any woman who is not in a life-threatening situation to see someone else besides a surgeon to explore nonsurgical options first.”
The published literature documents many downsides to hysterectomy — including anatomical complications, urinary incontinence, depression and anxiety in the shorter term, and increased long-term risks for conditions ranging from heart disease, stroke and metabolic disease to cancer, bone loss and cognitive decline.
Hysterectomy’s risks are especially pronounced for women who have their reproductive organ(s) removed at younger ages.
In one study, women who had their uterus removed before age 35 had risks of coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure that were 2.5-fold and 4.6-fold higher, respectively, than for age-matched women who had not gone under the knife, and another study found that women who had the surgery before age 50 were more likely to develop hypertension.
For girls taking “masculinizing” testosterone before they head into surgery, Cleveland Clinic doctors admit that the “cross-sex” hormone treatment can affect surgical outcomes, including delaying tissue healing and contributing to blood or heart problems.
Disturbingly, they also acknowledge that research on trans hysterectomy has focused “more on feasibility than on outcomes.”
One reason the promotion of hysterectomy in very young women should give pause has to do with the United States’ “long and sordid” track record with eugenics and involuntary sterilization.
In 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Buck v. Bell, upheld a Virginia law authorizing mandatory sterilization of institutionalized women who were epileptic or arbitrarily deemed “feeble minded,” a decision that Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes — an avowed eugenicist — infamously justified in his statement, “The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. … Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”
That legal precedent enabled tens of thousands of forced sterilizations throughout the 20th century — either via hysterectomy or tubal ligation (the cutting, tying or blocking of the Fallopian tubes) — especially among women who were poor, disabled, non-white or incarcerated.
Contrary to popular belief, forced surgical sterilization is not a thing of the past — 31 states and Washington, D.C., still have laws on the books allowing it, including 17 states that okay it for children with disabilities; two states, Iowa and Nevada, passed laws in 2019.
In 2020, a whistleblower came forward describing mass hysterectomies “without full consent or for uncertain medical reasons” among immigrants at a Georgia detention center, and there is evidence that the criminal justice system weaponizes sterilization for both female and male prisoners, with “no way to know how many ‘off the record’ sterilization [courtroom] deals happen every year.”
The medical-industrial complex
In 2018, investigative reporter Jennifer Bilek documented a chilling reason for the “explosion in transgender medical infrastructure,” which, she argued, has little to do with civil rights and a lot to do with “moneyed interests.”
Describing the massive funding channeled from billionaires, “governments … technology and pharmaceutical corporations to institutionalize and normalize transgenderism as a lifestyle choice” — conveniently landing transgenderism and its lifelong customers “square in the middle of the medical industrial complex” — Bilek concluded, “can hardly be a coincidence when the very thing absolutely essential to those transitioning are pharmaceuticals and technology.”
Among the corporate players that are “all-in” are COVID-19 vaccine makers Janssen/Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer as well as kid-brainwashing and surveillance giants like Google, which is also in the healthcare business.
Bilek noted that Boston Children’s Hospital — rated by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s “best children’s hospitals” — opened its “gender clinic” in 2007, bragging about having been “the first pediatric and adolescent health program in the United States” to do so. Fifteen years later, there are almost 50 such clinics across the nation.
Bilek wrote, “With the medical infrastructure being built, doctors being trained for various surgeries, clinics opening at warp speed, and the media celebrating it, transgenderism is poised for growth.”
As a 2019 editorial in Obstetrics and Gynecology enthused, another factor facilitating the surgical gold rush has been steadily increasing insurance company willingness to cover “gender-affirming surgical care,” despite “knowledge gaps” and the lack of any “evidence-based guidelines to define optimal care surrounding many aspects of these surgeries.”
The recent media hoopla focused on the Boston hospital’s website promotion of “gender-affirming hysterectomies” — with or without removal of the ovaries, and with the additional option of surgically constructing a penis — for girls who, as some discreetly put it, are lacking “a gynecologic disease that would traditionally indicate hysterectomy.”
In fact, Boston Children’s Hospital’s website signals it has a “full suite of options for transgender teens and young adults.”
After the media maelstrom drew attention to Boston Children’s Hospital’s willingness to cut off the breasts of 15-year-old girls and carry out “feminizing” vaginoplasty on 17-year-old boys (the first step being the removal of the scrotum and testes), the hospital hastened to declare that for hysterectomies, at least, girls have to be 18 or older.
At Children’s National, meanwhile, the Pediatric Gynecology Program listed “gender-affirming hysterectomy” as a service “available for patients between the ages of 0-21” — until fierce public scrutiny prompted it to scrub its website — see the archived webpage here and cleansed webpage here.
When the author of TikTok and Substack posts decided to call the Washington, D.C., hospital and clarify its policies — describing her efforts as “a mini-Project Veritas” — Children’s National staff stated in a recorded conversation that gender-affirming hysterectomies were available for “16-year-olds and ‘much younger’ children.”
The hospital says the recording is “not accurate” and that patients must be at least 18 years old.
Take it all out?
In one of the widely-publicized Boston Children’s Hospital videos, pediatric gynecologist and transgender specialist Dr. Frances Grimstad explained, “Some gender-affirming hysterectomies will also include the removal of the ovaries,” a procedure called a bilateral oophorectomy.
Due to the sudden loss of estrogen, removal of the ovaries triggers immediate “surgical menopause,” with effects “more acute” than natural menopause “because the hormonal changes will happen suddenly rather than over several years.”
Keeping the ovaries is not necessarily protective; however, women who forego ovary removal at the time of hysterectomy are twice as likely to experience ovarian failure compared to women who keep their uterus, and are likely to go through menopause within five years.
As for the cervix, a concerned hospital researcher was already pointing out in the early 1990s that the cervix “is not a useless organ” and cautioning against its removal during total hysterectomy.
Risks associated with cervical removal, the researcher noted, include the potential for bladder and bowel dysfunction (due to “loss of nerve ganglia closely associated with the cervix”), increased morbidity during and after the operation, vaginal shortening, scar tissue that prevents healing and organs sagging or no longer staying in place (prolapse).
The sudden menopause brought on by removal of both ovaries, says Healthline, increases the likelihood of cognitive impairment, “including dementia and Parkinsonism,” with various studies suggesting that surgical menopause before the age of natural menopause makes women “vulnerable to changes in the brain that may alter cognitive function over the long term.”
Studies in rats indicate that the removal of the uterus and ovaries causes changes in the brain’s memory center (the hippocampus), inducing cell damage and cell death, and affecting the animals’ “ability to learn, remember and function.”
This type of study has prompted medical experts to question the dogma that “the non-pregnant uterus is dormant” and serves no purpose, with one physician stating, “The antiquated concept that the uterus is a disposable organ needs to be put to bed.”
Some years ago, a woman who had her uterus, ovaries and Fallopian tubes removed blogged about her experience with cognitive decline side effects:
“I describe these as losing my train of thought, basic forgetfulness and confusion, lower attention span, and most problematic — word finding. … And I know that I didn’t get DUMBER until after I had that surgery. … But if someone told me I might become a blithering idiot who no longer felt like she could function with her colleagues and peers … well, that definitely would’ve made me think twice, at least back then when I could think straight.”
No turning back
Wall Street Journal writer Abigail Shrier, in her 2020 book “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters,” dissected the phenomena of “social contagion,” social media “influencers” and “online shaming” and also described the explosion of “detransitioners” — girls who medically transition, “only to regret it and attempt to reverse course.”
As Shrier summarized, the detransitioners “now believed that their own mental health struggles had made them vulnerable to social media and peer pressure,” which had encouraged them to “equate cross-sex hormones and gender surgery with salvation” — but with “far too few safeguards.”
The informants described in her chapter titled “The Regret” came to question “a medical system that fast-tracks [trans-identified teens’] demands without regard for their actual welfare.”
A transgender specialist at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles has a flippant solution for girls who undergo “chest surgery” (breast removal), stating, “if you want breasts at a later point in your life, you can go and get them.”
However, fake breasts (and more surgery) are not meaningful solutions, nor is any comparable back-pedaling possible for girls who get their uterus removed.
One of Shrier’s informants found this out the hard way.
Acceding to a doctor’s recommendation to get a hysterectomy after uterine atrophy caused by accumulated testosterone left her “doubled over in pain … she awakened without a uterus [and] she realized her entire gender journey had been a terrible mistake.”
What about informed consent?
Is the medical establishment providing young women — and, when involved, their parents — with fully informed consent about problems such as testosterone addiction and, in the case of hysterectomy, the increased risks of heart disease, cognitive decline and other long-term impacts?
Neuroscientists agree that the human brain takes about 25 years to develop, with “risk management and long-term planning abilities” not “kick[ing] into high gear” until then, but in many cases, young women are making medical transition decisions much earlier and without parental oversight.
At the close of “Irreversible Damage,” Shrier — whose book admittedly made waves — wryly observed that “expressing concern about teens suddenly identifying as trans has become politically unwise and socially verboten.”
For those able to set aside the intense politicization for a good-faith consideration of young women’s welfare, the fact that some of the nation’s top children’s hospitals are, like pied pipers, enticing credulous girls into surgery — with the risk of permanently damaging their health and eliminating the possibility of bearing children — bears close scrutiny.