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Tipsheet

Vanderbilt Suspends 'Gender-Affirming' Surgeries for Minors Amid Backlash

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is suspending all permanent transgender operations on minors until futher notice. 

The medical center will not provide sex reassignment surgery on children pending an internal review. This comes after a report from Matt Walsh revealed that Vanderbilt was providing “gender-affirming” services to children because it’s a “big money maker,” one of the clinic’s physicians said in a resurfaced video, which Townhall covered.

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After Walsh unveiled his team’s report about VUMC’s transgender clinic, Vanderbilt prompltly deleted the clinic’s entire webpage about these types of services, which also include hormone therapy treatment and puberty blockers. 

In addition, VUMC published a statement claiming that Walsh’s reporting “misrepresented” facts about the clinic. However, Walsh's Twitter thread pulled straight from the clinic’s webpage and lectures from its physicians that were available on the internet. 

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Lawmakers also chimed in. Following Walsh’s shocking Twitter thread, Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee called for an investigation of Vanderbilt’s pediatric transgender clinic.

“The ‘pediatric transgender clinic’ at Vanderbilt University Medical Center raises serious moral, ethical and legal concerns,” Lee said in a statement to The Daily Wire after the report. “We should not allow permanent, life-altering decisions that hurt children or policies that suppress religious liberties, all for the purpose of financial gain. We have to protect Tennessee children, and this warrants a thorough investigation.”

Other state lawmakers reached out to Walsh about his reporting and began working on legislation to shut the clinic down. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration demanding an investigation into puberty blockers, one of the services provided to children at Vanderbilt’s clinic. 

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Late last week, a letter from VUMC to Tennessee Rep. Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) said that the center would cease all transgender operations on kids as it reviews guidelines from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (via The Tennessean):

In Friday's letter, VUMC said it began its Transgender Health Clinic in 2018, citing the high risk transgender people face for mental and physical health issues. In its patient population under age 18, VUMC said an average of five per year received "gender-affirming surgical procedures."


These were not genital procedures, the letter said.


"Contrary to some media reports, all were at least 16 years of age, none have received genital procedures and parental consent to these surgeries was obtained in all cases," VUMC's letter to Zachary states. "None of these surgeries have been paid for by state or federal funds; the revenues from this limited number of surgeries represent an immaterial percentage of VUMC's net operating revenue."


Zachary shared the letter announcing the pause, signed by VUMC's Deputy CEO and Chief Health System Officer Dr. C. Wright Pinson and dated Oct. 7. A spokesperson for VUMC confirmed the letter was valid but declined to comment further.

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Zachary posted the letter on Twitter.

After Walsh’s report came out, Vanderbilt University denied involvement with the clinic. 

"Vanderbilt University Medical Center is a fully independent nonprofit and has been a separate legal entity from Vanderbilt University since 2016. As such, Vanderbilt University has no role in medical decisions and patient care," university spokesman John O'Brien told Fox News.

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