Fox News incites threats and attacks on children’s hospitals over misinformation
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The conservative Twitter account “Libs of TikTok” incited yet another hateful campaign of anti-LGBTQ venom towards innocent people last week, this time targeting the Boston Children’s hospital.
In an August 11th tweet, the account—run by Brooklyn real estate agent Chaya Raichik—claimed that the hospital “is now offering ‘gender affirming hysterectomies’ for young girls.” To support her assertion, Raichik posted a video of a physician explaining what the procedure entails, relying on the fact that a children’s hospital posted it to argue that the organization must be providing hysterectomies to children.
In reality, however, only patients 18 or older who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria are eligible for a gender-affirming hysterectomy at Boston Children’s Hospital.
This fact has not gotten in the way of Libs of TikTok’s 1.3 million followers spreading the claim far and wide, some of whom even targeted the hospital with an inundation of violent threats.
“Long past time to start executing these ‘doctors,’” a member of a pro-Trump message board formerly known as TheDonald, wrote under a copy of a video featuring a doctor from the hospital. This message board is the same one whose members last week doxed and made violent threats against the judge who signed the search warrant that allowed the FBI to search the home of former President Donald Trump…
“Demons like this do not deserve to breathe! Crimes against humanity=DEATH,” one Telegram user wrote under a link to one of the articles repeating the false claims. “These people are physcopaths [sic] and should be locked up,” another wrote. On both platforms, the doctors and hospital staff were referred to as “pedophiles” and “groomers,” attacks that have become a mainstay of Republican orthodoxy in recent months.
“In response to commentary last week critical of our Gender Multispecialty Service (GeMS) Program, Boston Children’s Hospital has been the target of a large volume of hostile internet activity, phone calls, and harassing emails, including threats of violence toward our clinicians and staff fueled by misinformation and a lack of understanding and respect for our transgender community,” the hospital said in a statement.
Undeterred—or, perhaps, encouraged—by the threats her account inspires, Raichik quickly moved on to targeting hospitals in Phoenix and Pittsburgh that also offer gender-affirming care.
“How many more children’s hospitals and their providers need to be threatened before you actually do something?” Alejandra Caraballo, a clinical instructor at the Harvard Law School Cyberlaw Clinic an LGBTQ+ advocate who has been at the forefront of calling out Raichik’s campaign, tweeted on Tuesday.
The answer, according to Fox News, is apparently that many, many more hospitals need to be attacked. On Thursday night, Tucker Carlson featured Libs of TikTok’s debunked claims regarding Boston Children’s Hospital and called gender-affirming care the “sexual mutilation” of children.
A Utah high school secretly investigated a female athlete after the parents of two girls she defeated in competition questioned her assigned sex at birth.
David Spatafore, the Utah High School Activities Association’s legislative representative, told the joint House and Senate Education Interim Committee that the student “clearly outclassed” her competitors.
“The parents of the second- and third-place student[s] filed a complaint that day with our UHSAA, which was governing the activity,” Spatafore said, declining to say what sport or school the student was involved in to avoid revealing her identity.
The Association asked the student’s high school to review all her records going back to kindergarten to determine if she was registered as female.
“The school went back to kindergarten,” Spatafore said, “and she’d always been a female.”
“If someone has been a female since kindergarten,” he added, it’s likely they didn’t transition genders.
The Utah legislature passed a ban on transgender students participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity earlier this year, overriding Gov. Spencer Cox’s veto to make the bill law. It is now being challenged in court by the families of transgender students who argue that the law is unconstitutional.
A conservative nonprofit sued an Iowa school district last week over its policies that protect transgender students and promote LGBTQ+ rights.
The group Parents Defending Education (PDE), which states that it works “to reclaim our schools from activists imposing harmful agendas,” got its start fighting claims of critical race theory being taught in private and public schools. According to the Center for Media and Democracy, PDE president Nicole Neily worked for numerous organizations associated with the Koch brothers.
Now, moving on to the latest hot button issue on the right, PDE sued the Linn-Mar Community School District on behalf of parents who wish to have control over the gender identity of their children. Under the district’s new transgender/gender nonconforming student policy, students can create a “gender support plan” that assists them in their gender transition without parental input. The policy also allows children to use restrooms, locker rooms, and changing facilities that correspond with the student’s gender identity, and gives students the right to be addressed by their pronouns of choice.
“Linn-Mar’s gender policy demonstrates a deep contempt for the constitutional rights of its students and families,” said Parents Defending Education President Nicole Neily. “It has been clearly established by the federal court system over the past 100 years that parents have a right to direct the upbringing of their children, and we are proud to fight on behalf of our members to put a stop to these unconstitutional policies.”