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Tipsheet

‘Gender-Affirming’ Care Will Be Impacted if Abortion Clinics Close: Report

AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

A Planned Parenthood executive said in an interview this week that “gender-affirming” health care could be impacted if abortion clinics shut down in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

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Ashley Coffield, the chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, told NPR on Sunday that when one of the organization’s Knoxville, Tennessee-based clinics was burnt down earlier this year, they were inundated with phone calls from patients inquiring about continuing “gender-affirming” services. This includes hormone therapy treatment for people who identify as “transgender.”

"We were flooded with calls more from our gender-affirming hormone patients than from any other type of patient because we are a continuing source of care for gender-affirming patients," Coffield told NPR. "It was very upsetting and scary to them when we were suddenly gone."

"Both gender-affirming hormone care and abortions are essential health care that aren't offered by most providers, and both are stigmatized services," she added. "So the same values we use in abortion care — like self-determination, respect and a nonjudgmental approach to health care — translate really easily into serving our gender-affirming hormone care patients."

NPR added in its report that when abortion clinics shut down, “it’s not just access to abortions that are lost, but also an array of services – like birth control, sex education and gender-affirming treatments – that can dissapear.”

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Dr. Bhavik Khumar, the medical director of primary and transgender care at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, also told NPR that “trans care” is at risk if Planned Parenthood abortion clinics beginning shuttering.

“With trans care, this is not a drill,” Khumar told the outlet. “As much as people are concerned about abortion care and access to abortion – which is very important – we should also be concerned about trans people and preserving their humanity and dignity.”

Khumar added that more than half of Planned Parenthood clinics help transgender people with hormone replacement therapy, mental health services and legal processes, such as name changes.

In May, Townhall covered how a 23-year-old woman told Fox News television host Tucker Carlson that she regretted transitioning to become a man when she was a teenager. 

The young woman, Helena Kerschner, told Carlson that went to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Chicago after she turned 18 to obtain “gender-affirming” care. A nurse practitioner at the clinic wrote Kerschner a prescription for 100 milligrams of testosterone during her first visit. Kerschner never saw a doctor. 

Kerschner’s interview came shortly after the Biden administration agencies released guidance on “Transgender Day of Visibility” that promoted this type of health care for minors, which Townhall covered. She noted how the Biden administration claims that there are “gender-affirming” steps that are “reversible.” 

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“I’m just really concerned for younger girls and boys, like I once was, being led down this path and being hurt by it,” Kerschner told Carlson. “When you go on a cross sex hormone, like, that’s going to give you not just physical changes but psychological experiences that you can’t just act like they never happened.” 

She added that there are women she knows who are teenagers who’ve undergone a double mastectomy. 

“There’s a lot of people out there, especially parents, who are really thankful for what I’m saying because they see that their young girl or their young boy is going through this. And the school is telling them ‘you need to affirm them, they’re trans, you need to transition them,’ all their doctors are telling them ‘you need to transition them,’ and these parents, they know that their child should not be having these cosmetic procedures,” she said. 

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