D.C. children’s hospital harassed over trans youth services

WASHINGTON (AP) — Medical providers at Children’s National Hospital in Washington have become the latest targets of social media campaigns harassing U.S. hospitals for the treatments they offer transgender youths.

In an audio recording posted Thursday by the conservative Twitter account Libs of TikTok, a Children’s National employee appears to say that the hospital offers gender-affirming hysterectomies to minors.

Since Thursday the hospital has been the target of “a large volume of hostile and threatening phone calls and emails,” a spokesperson said in a statement to The Associated Press.

The spokesperson also denied that Children’s National performs hysterectomies for minors.

“None of the people who were secretly recorded by this activist group deliver care to our patients,” they said. “The information in the recording is not accurate. We do not perform gender-affirming hysterectomies for anyone under the age of 18. ”

In the recording, Chaya Raichik, the Brooklyn real estate saleswoman whom The Washington Post identified earlier this year as running Libs of TikTok, poses as the mother of a 16-year-old transgender boy seeking a gender-affirming hysterectomy.

“They’re in the clear,” a hospital worker tells Raichik after asking her son’s age.

Later in the recording, another hospital worker tells Raichik she has seen gender-affirming hysterectomies for children “younger than your child’s age.”

Comments on Twitter labeled hospital workers “demons” and “groomers” and called for them to be jailed or worse.

Earlier this month, doctors and staffers of Boston Children’s Hospital reported receiving threats of violence after Libs of TikTok posted a snippet of a hospital video about gender-affirming hysterectomies and claimed the hospital offered the procedure “for young girls.”

Far-right social media accounts and news outlets have also targeted hospitals in Pittsburgh, Phoenix and other major cities for their gender care programs.

____

Harm Venhuizen is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow Harm on Twitter.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.