- The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services gave the Gender and Sexuality Development Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) nearly $177,000 through three years to host workshops for mental health providers on how to “affirm” transgender and gender expansive clients.
- Several Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers are criticizing taxpayer dollars being spent on the gender clinic and are planning to discuss the use of the funds with the state Appropriations Committee, they told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
- “It’s so outrageous and it’s just another smack in the face for taxpayers to know that they were footing the bill for some of this,” Republican state Rep. Dawn Keefer told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers are calling out a gender clinic that used thousands of taxpayer dollars to train mental health providers on how to “affirm” transgender and gender expansive clients.
Over three years, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) granted the Gender and Sexuality Development Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) more than $176,000 to create a series of webinars and in-person trainings for mental health providers called the “Transgender Therapy Training Workshops,” the Daily Caller News Foundation revealed. Diverting taxpayer dollars towards the gender clinic and its transgender trainings for mental health providers is “outrageous” and must be investigated, Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers told the DCNF.
“I’m going to look into this personally and to talk to our appropriations chair,” Republican state Rep. Dawn Keefer told the DCNF. “I’m not on the Appropriations Committee, so I didn’t participate in any of the hearings for appropriations, but this absolutely has to be discussed as we’re appropriating dollars, again, for human services and an agency, who always comes to us for more money. They’re looking for money for services that they are required to cover. It’s just irresponsible that they’re digressing into everything outside of their scope.”
The seminars included in the “Transgender Therapy Training Workshops” teach mental health providers that children learn their gender identity after having “access to more resources and can use new language to describe their gender.” Someone’s transgender status is “confidential” and should not be disclosed unless the individual gives permission to do so, according to the CHOP trainings.
CHOP’s gender clinic provides medical transitioning interventions to children, prescribing puberty blockers to kids as young as eight. The clinic has referred kids as young as 14-years-old for cross-sex surgeries such as mastectomies or breast construction.
The gender clinic’s employees have promoted such procedures, in addition to hormones and puberty blockers for children.
“[Republican state] Senator [Scott] Martin is adamantly opposed to the use of taxpayer dollars to support extremist gender identity policies for children – something he has been fighting in the General Assembly for quite some time,” Jason Thompson, Martin’s spokesman, told the DCNF. “Even though the grants in question are fully funded by the federal government, the state should not play a role in supporting a program that encourages kids to move forward with life-altering decisions like gender reassignment surgery when they are too young to make that kind of choice.”
In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, CHOP was awarded $45,283 through the state’s “Community Mental Health Services Block Grant” for the workshops, which in total trained 821 mental health providers.
In the second year of the program, the state gave CHOP $51,966 to hold the workshops and to pay the partial salaries for two of the gender clinic employees. Through the 2019-2020 fiscal year, CHOP suggested to DHS that the workshops focus on several topics including “legal transition, medical transition, working with couples, working with schools, individuals in addiction and co-occurring Autism.”
In the 2020-2021 fiscal year, CHOP was granted $79,446 which resulted in 520 mental health providers being trained.
“It’s so outrageous and it’s just another smack in the face for taxpayers to know that they were footing the bill for some of this,” Keefer told the DCNF.
CHOP has provided at least 33 trainings in 15 schools since 2017; CHOP provided a training to Southern Lehigh School District in 2021 which advised educators to allow students “room for exploration” of their gender. In 2022, a Pennsylvania school district donated $1,200 to CHOP to provide professional development sessions which taught K-12 educators how to create “gender inclusive and affirming educational environments.”
“I can speak from my district and my feelings for the state in these issues, taxpayers do not want to fund this type of, as they term it, health care,” Republican state Rep. Barbra Gleim told the DCNF. “I will also be opposing any type of appropriations to this type of mental health care. We just need to make [the taxpayer] aware that their tax dollars are going towards gender reaffirmation or gender transitioning, and if that’s not okay with them, they need to let everybody know, so that we can legislate properly.”
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and Gender and Sexuality Development Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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