The Daily Signal sat down with Dr. Michelle Cretella, a pediatrician and executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, to discuss the "Equality Act" and its impact it would have on parental rights, doctors' oath to do no harm to patients, as well as the effect it would have on Faith-based organization who oppose transgender ideology, and even its impact girls' sports. Dr. Cretella warned the "Equality Act," despite its name, would unfairly strip parents and moral conscientious health care employers of their freedoms as well as cause more harm to patients and children than good.
The law in question, H.R. 5 - The Equality Act, would prohibit "discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity" and includes "sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation."
But, Dr. Cretella told the Daily Signal, "This is very dangerous legislation in that it literally mandates that health professionals do harm to people. This act says that a health professional cannot deny treatment to a person based on their gender identity. "
"Now, at first blush, people may say, 'Well, what’s wrong with that?'," Dr. Cretella continued. "The problem is this: A person who identifies as trans can very readily and easily go and access medical care for a common cold, an ankle sprain, etc. The issue is when they go into a doctor’s office and say, for example, a woman goes in and says, 'I identify as a man. I want you, my OB-GYN, to perform a hysterectomy. Take my healthy uterus out of my healthy body.'"
"That’s forcing a physician to violate his oath to first do no harm," she warned. Now, the transgender activists claim that, 'Oh, no. These transgender surgeries, removing reproductive organs, putting them on hormones is lifesaving.' It’s simply not true. That is not what the science shows."
Dr. Cretella cited a recent study which showed that "30 years after surgery, the transgender-identified population had a suicide rate 19 times greater than the general population."
So, she argues, despite inconclusive evidence that these surgeries actually help individuals, "H.R. 5 will mandate every single physician to participate in. And that’s the biggest problem. It’s being mandated, as I say, under the guise of helping trans-identified people when, in point of fact, it does nothing to decrease their risk of suicide."
"We are not helping," she added. "These individuals who are suffering, we’re giving them toxic hormones that set them up for heart attacks, strokes, cancers, and worse, and we’re not even diminishing their suicide rate."
Furthermore, laws like the "Equality Act" give legal reprieve for individuals to sue Catholic hospitals. States such as New Jersey and California have already passed laws which grant the same civil right protections to transgender individuals which has resulted "in New Jersey, one Catholic hospital has been sued by a woman claiming to be a man. She sued the Catholic hospital because the hospital refused to perform a hysterectomy."
But, given the availability of other hospitals willing to perform these sorts of surgeries, Dr. Cetrella argues that, "it’s not a question of availability, which is why if H.R. 5 passes and becomes the law of the land, you are essentially putting Catholic health care out of business. You’re literally driving them out of business."
In terms of parental rights, Dr. Cetrella explained that under the proposed legislation, "There are none anymore. If this Equality Act passes, it literally says that any action by anyone to interfere with access to “transgender procedures or reproductive health,” that’s discrimination. That’s not allowed."
Again, in states with similar legislation, "one family in Ohio already had their parental rights terminated because they would not consent to their adolescent daughter getting puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones."
The children, in essence, become the state’s." And public schools who receive federal dollars "will actually be required to teach this transgender ideology from Pre-K on forward, all the way up."
This is because of the Equality Act would wrongly "identity gender identity as though it’s race or skin color."
Dr. Cetrella notes that the Equality Act does not have any special exemption for religious-based organizations. "If H.R. 5 passes, that private schools and even churches and Catholic hospitals, all private institutions will have to bow down to the transgender ideology of the state," she said on the Daily Signal podcast.
Furthermore, since it grants transgender individuals civil rights protections, "There won’t be anymore girls sports, it’ll be men’s sports versus coed sports. There won’t be any women’s restrooms, or women’s locker rooms, or even women’s shelters. It’s going to be coed everything. Yeah, coed everything. It completely undoes our entire way of life."
As for critics who argue that anti-transgender individuals are anti-science, Dr. Cretella says, "You don’t get anymore anti-science than the claim that there are no biological differences between males and females. "
"Look, a man on estrogen is still a man. He’s still a man. He’s doping estrogen. He’s going to be weaker and slower than men who don’t dope estrogen, but he’s still not a woman," she added.
A vote on the Equality Act is expected to take place this week in the House of Representatives.