Doctors Protecting Children: Stop promoting surgery as social affirmation

A Minnesota doctor is leading a movement to protect children and calling on her medical colleagues to stop promoting surgery as social affirmation.

Dr. Jill Simons talks with Liz Collin. (Alpha News)

A Minnesota doctor is leading a movement to protect children and calling on her medical colleagues to stop promoting surgery as social affirmation.

Having recently announced the Doctors Protecting Children Declaration, Dr. Jill Simons, a Minnesota pediatrician and the executive director of the American College of Pediatrics, joined Liz Collin on her podcast.

The declaration is an initiative of the Doctors Protecting Children organization. Dr. Simons explained, “for years at the American College of Pediatricians have been speaking out against the harms of this so-called gender affirming care.”

“We have many colleagues that are also speaking out against this and for years we’ve been dismissed, called fringe and pushed aside. We knew that our facts were true and this is what the research is saying, that these treatments are harmful. We also knew that we are in the majority, but that doctors and science is being silenced,” she said.

In explaining the timing and the power behind the Doctors Protecting Children Declaration, Dr. Simons remarked, “We just thought it was time that we just have to come together in one loud voice and say, enough, this is harming children.”

Joining forces to stop harmful interventions of children with gender dysphoria

The declaration is also a show of growing support. Simons explained how a long list of medical and health policy organizations, doctors, health leaders support this declaration.

“The American College of Pediatricians is in a very unique spot. We are the only medical organization of pediatricians that is speaking out on this. We’re not religious-based. We’re just a medical organization. We are one of the few organizations that can stand toe to toe, eye to eye with our medical colleagues in the American Academy of Pediatrics, the AMA, the Endocrine Society. We have the same training. We are qualified. We speak up for patients. That put us in a unique spot to really be able to call for some true medical discussion on this,” Dr. Simons said.

‘Gender-affirming care’ is ‘anything but care’

To emphasize the harm to children, Dr. Simons explained so-called gender affirming care: “This is about anything but care.”

According to Dr. Simons, science shows if you “support a child through natural puberty, that upwards of 98% will be comfortable with their biological sex by the time they have gone through puberty…. So, why would you medicalize all these children when the majority of them, when supported, will be comfortable in their body,” she questioned.

Bringing a global perspective to Minnesota

In leading the initiative, Dr. Simons said she has heard from many pediatricians in Minnesota who don’t agree with what’s being promoted—but are afraid to speak out.

“Pediatricians are under threat of being reprimanded, losing their jobs, their careers or worse. The great majority of them that I speak to say, I support this, I support this, but I can’t speak out publicly. That’s just really sad,” she lamented.

Dr. Simons is affiliated with Children’s Minnesota Hospital in the Twin Cities where just recently, Alpha News reported how the hospital put a pronoun galaxy on display, encouraging parents to honor their children’s wishes when it comes to using different pronouns.

Pronoun galaxy, Children's Minnesota Hospital
Pronoun galaxy, Children’s Minnesota Hospital

“I call for my colleagues to be open to discussion and to look at the science, look at the research, look at our European colleagues and to discuss this. As doctors, we’re trained to question things. We’re trained to speak up when we think a medical error is happening. This is one area that open discussion and scientific discussion should be taking place. I’m urging my colleagues and I know they are good pediatricians and they want to take care of children the best way they can. I think they’re just being misguided. They’re not seeing the science. They’re not really looking at this eyes wide open,” Dr. Simons said.

The Doctors Protecting Children Declaration can help other medical professionals speak up.

The American College of Pediatrics will “take the arrows and step out in front,” Dr. Simons said. “I think we’re reaching a tipping point where doctors and other people can’t just stand by and watch anymore and they are speaking out,” she added.


Liz Collin

Liz Collin has been a truth-teller for 20 years as a multi-Emmy-Award-winning reporter and anchor. Liz is a Worthington, Minnesota native who lives in the suburbs with her husband, son and loyal lab.