19 Times Breitbart Cited A Discredited Hate Group To Spread Harmful Lies About Pediatric Medical Care

Blog ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

Breitbart.com has cited an anti-LGBTQ hate group as evidence that medical care for transgender youth is dangerous, harmful, and/or tantamount to “child abuse” in 19 separate articles since March. The deceptively named hate group’s position on youth health care is refuted by all major medical associations.

On March 19, the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) released a position statement titled “Gender Ideology Harms Children.” ACPeds is a deceptively named extremist group with an estimated 200 to 500 members whose name is meant to be confused with the 60,000-member American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). ACPeds has been designated as an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for spreading malicious lies about LGBTQ people and deliberately misrepresenting legitimate research to attack LGBTQ equality. SPLC has detailed ACPeds’ history as a splinter fringe organization whose express purpose is to attack LGBTQ people:

ACPeds was founded in 2002 by a small breakaway group of about 60 ultra-conservatives from the 60,000-plus member American Academy of Pediatrics, the foremost national professional organization regarding pediatrics in the country. Initially, the group was formed as a protest to AAP’s support of LGBT adoption rights. In the 14 years since its founding, ACPeds has continued to pump out demonizing pseudoscience and falsehoods about LGBT people, often parroting Paul Cameron, and calling homosexual relationships promiscuous, a danger to children, unstable, and claiming that LGBT people experience “shortened lifespans.”

The March statement by ACPeds also claims that “conditioning children into believing that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.” As ThinkProgress’ Zack Ford explained, this claim is “completely refuted by all available scientific evidence.” But presumably due in no small part to its credible-sounding name, ACPeds’ harmful lies about pediatric care were quickly parroted by conservative outlets. The talking point spread far enough that Snopes.com debunked it, writing, “It was an official-sounding but fringe group of politically motivated pediatricians who issued a statement on gender, not the respected American Academy of Pediatrics.”

The extremist “alt-right” website has continued to cite ACPeds as a legitimate source of medical information, using the statement as “evidence” to oppose basic protections for LGBTQ youth. Since ACPeds released the baseless “child abuse” claim in March, Breitbart has parroted the lie as fact in 19 different articles. Here are the headlines:  

  1. Gay Group Promotes ‘Gender Ideology’ For Children
  2. Pope Francis: Gender Theory Part Of ‘Global War’ To Destroy Marriage 
  3. Physicians Decry Pseudo-Science Of Transgenderism, ‘Absurd’ To Say Anyone Is Born Into ‘Wrong Body’
  4. LGBT Groups Blast Pope Francis Over Gender Comments 
  5. Pastor: Iowa Is Claiming Authority Over Church’s Teaching Of Christian Sexuality 
  6. Criticism Of Transgender Agenda Will Get Virginia Students Expelled 
  7. Washington State Schools Push ‘Gender Fluid,’ Transgender Ideas On K-12 Kids 
  8. Open Letter To Leaders: Gender Ideology ‘Putting Our Children At Risk’ 
  9. Pro-Gay Group Warns ‘Significant Risks’ In Transgender Medical Treatments For Children
  10. Vermont Schoolkids Resist Official Pressure For Transgender Favoritism 
  11. Princeton Prof: Transgenderism Not Scientific, ‘Superstitious Belief’ 
  12. Pro-Family Leaders Condemn Administration’s Imposition Of ‘Abusive’ Transgender Policy 
  13. Andrea Lafferty: Donald Trump And Others ‘Don’t Understand The Full Impact’ Of ‘Gender Identity’ Ideology
  14. Pope Says No To Trans-Kids, Teach Young ‘To Accept Their Own Body As It Was Created’ 
  15. Planned Parenthood Ignores Doctors’ Warnings Of Transgender Dangers To Children
  16. How The Washington Post Gets The North Carolina Anti-Trans Law Wrong 
  17. North Carolina Passes Anti-Trans Bill, Corporate Bullies Circling 
  18. College Of Pediatricians Calls Transgender Ideology ‘Child Abuse’ 
  19. Pediatricians Call Gender Discordance Conditioning Child Abuse

Two Breitbart authors -- who are bylined as “Dr. Susan Berry” and “Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D.” -- wrote 13 of those 19 articles (seven and six, respectively). It’s unclear whether their titles are particularly relevant to the subject matter. According to his Breitbart biography, Williams “is a Permanent Research Fellow at the Center for Ethics and Culture at Notre Dame University,” and his personal website biography says that he earned a doctorate in theology in Rome. Berry has no biographical information on Breitbart, including no information to indicate what sort of doctor she is. An archived version of her columnist page from 2014 indicates that she has a doctorate in psychology, while a 2013 article in Darien News reports that a clinical psychologist Susan Berry works “primarily with gifted children and adults.”

1. Gay Group Promotes ‘Gender Ideology’ For Children

Mainstream pediatricians and professionals are becoming very concerned about the mental health of children in America who are now being exposed to the Obama administration’s promotion of gender ideology in schools and workplaces. These professionals signed onto an open letter that asserts the ideology is “putting the nation’s children at risk.”

The American College of Pediatricians states gender ideology is harmful to children and that, by promoting gender fluidity in its school bathroom directive, the Obama administration is complicit in masking serious mental health issues in children.

[...]

“According to the DSM-V, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty,” the College asserts. “Conditioning children into believing that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.” [Susan Berry, 10/5/16

2. Pope Francis: Gender Theory Part Of ‘Global War’ To Destroy Marriage 

This past August, after the Pope once again decried the introduction of gender theory into schools, LGBT activists reacted strongly, accusing Francis of butting in where he doesn’t belong.

Francis DeBernardo, the executive director of New Ways Ministry, a Catholic LGBT advocacy group, said that the Pope was ignorant about gender issues.

“Nobody chooses a gender identity. They discover it,” he said. “Transgender people come to know themselves in a process is [sic] similar to the way that lesbian, gay, and bisexual people discover their sexual orientation.”

DeBernardo added that “most reputable scientific experts say that allowing children to transition in youth is both a physically and psychologically healthy thing for them to do in most cases.”

That same month, however, the American College of Pediatricians issued a position paper warning that gender ideology is harmful to children.

Failing to identify with one’s biological sex signals a psychological disorder that must be dealt with, not pandered to, the physicians argued. [Thomas D. Williams, 10/2/16]

3. Physicians Decry Pseudo-Science Of Transgenderism, ‘Absurd’ To Say Anyone Is Born Into ‘Wrong Body’

The American College of Pediatricians (ACP) has released a position paper denouncing popular approaches to transgender, declaring that the current protocol is founded upon “unscientific gender ideology,” which lacks any basis in real evidence.

The physicians argue that the assumption that gender dysphoria (GD)—a psychological condition in which people experience a marked incongruence between their experienced gender and their biological sex—is innate contradicts all relevant data and is based on ideology rather than science.

[...]

“Conditioning children to believe the absurdity that they or anyone could be ‘born into the wrong body,’ and that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse,” the paper argues. [Thomas D. Williams, 8/7/16]

4. LGBT Groups Blast Pope Francis Over Gender Comments 

Last spring, the American College of Pediatricians issued a position paper warning against the physical and psychological dangers to children posed by advocates of transgenderism. Failing to identify with one’s biological sex signals a psychological disorder that must be dealt with, not pandered to, the physicians argued.

The doctors declared that human sexuality is “an objective biological binary trait” rather than an infinite series of self-determined “genders.” The norm for human design, the doctors said, “is to be conceived either male or female. Human sexuality is binary by design with the obvious purpose being the reproduction and flourishing of our species,” and therefore, “XY” and “XX” are “genetic markers of health – not genetic markers of a disorder.” [Thomas D. Williams, 8/4/16

5. Pastor: Iowa Is Claiming Authority Over Church’s Teaching Of Christian Sexuality 

The American College of Pediatricians has asserted that gender ideology is harmful to children and that by promoting gender fluidity, government officials are complicit in masking serious mental health issues in children.

[...]

“According to the DSM-V, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty,” the College asserts. “Conditioning children into believing that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.” [Susan Berry, 7/8/16]

6. Criticism Of Transgender Agenda Will Get Virginia Students Expelled 

The American College of Pediatricians has issued a report saying that transgenderism in children is dangerous. They have determined that testosterone shots and other transgender-related medical interventions are a form of child abuse.

There are a mere 700,000 transsexuals in the United States, according to the pro-trans Williams Institute at the University of California – Los Angeles. Only, 90,000 people have moved to change their name based on sex changes, according to a study of 2010 federal data. This means this massive and fundamental change is being imposed on all kids for the benefit of a tiny sliver of the American populace. [Austin Ruse, 6/10/16

7. Washington State Schools Push ‘Gender Fluid,’ Transgender Ideas On K-12 Kids 

The push to establish the “gender identity” claim in the nation’s schools is strongly backed by President Barack Obama’s deputies.

In response, more than 60 leaders concerned about the mental health of American children signed an open letter that says the Obama administration’s K-12 gender fluid policies are “putting the nation’s children at risk.”

Among the letter’s signers are Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, and Lisa Bell, founder of Youth Trans Critical Professionals.

The pediatricians assert that standards or policies that promote gender fluidity amount to “child abuse[.]” [Susan Berry, 6/9/16

8. Open Letter To Leaders: Gender Ideology ‘Putting Our Children At Risk’ 

The American College of Pediatricians has asserted that gender ideology is harmful to children and that by promoting gender fluidity, the Obama administration is complicit in masking serious mental health issues in children.

[...]

“According to the DSM-V, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty,” the College asserts. “Conditioning children into believing that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.” [Susan Berry, 6/6/16

9. Pro-Gay Group Warns ‘Significant Risks’ In Transgender Medical Treatments For Children

In a recent statement, the American College of Pediatricians has asserted that gender ideology is harmful to children. The College states that it “urges educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex. Facts – not ideology – determine reality…”

[...]

“According to the DSM-V, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty,” the College asserts. “Conditioning children into believing that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.” [Susan Berry, 5/20/16

10. Vermont Schoolkids Resist Official Pressure For Transgender Favoritism 

Medical professionals caution against the claim that “transgenderism” exists among children. Recently the American College of Pediatricians ruled that it was essentially a form of child abuse to force immature children into transgenderism, partly because it forces the child into a life-changing avenue before they are an adult. [Warner Todd Huston, 5/18/16]

11. Princeton Prof: Transgenderism Not Scientific, ‘Superstitious Belief’ 

[Professor Robert P.] George’s concerns over the transgender movement echo the recent statement by the American College of Pediatricians, which argued forcefully against encouraging young people to question their own biological sexuality.

[...]

Though preceding the Obama edict by nearly two months, the Pediatricians’ statement reads like a direct response to the unprecedented measure.

“Endorsing gender discordance as normal via public education and legal policies will confuse children and parents, leading more children to present to ‘gender clinics’ where they will be given puberty-blocking drugs,” the physicians warned.

“Conditioning children into believing that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse,” they concluded. [Thomas D. Williams, 5/16/16]

12. Pro-Family Leaders Condemn Administration’s Imposition Of ‘Abusive’ Transgender Policy 

National pro-family leaders are condemning President Barack Obama’s imposition of transgender ideology on America’s schoolchildren – what the American College of Pediatricians says amounts to “child abuse.”

“This attempt to bully our local schools into submission to the Obama Administration’s agenda is shameful and a gross abuse of the federal government’s power,” Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) said in a statement. “It has nothing to do with compassion for minority student populations and everything to do with political opportunism for the next election.” [Susan Berry, 5/13/16

13. Andrea Lafferty: Donald Trump And Others ‘Don’t Understand The Full Impact’ Of ‘Gender Identity’ Ideology 

As Web MD states, the condition known as “gender dysphoria” was once referred to as “gender identity disorder.” However, the website takes the now easily recognizable “politically correct” approach: “But the mismatch between body and internal sense of gender is not a mental illness. Instead, what need to be addressed are the stress, anxiety, and depression that go along with it.”

The American College of Pediatricians, however, has asserted that gender ideology is harmful to children. The college states:

[...]

“Conditioning children into believing that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse,” the College asserts. [Susan Berry, 4/25/16

14. Pope Says No To Trans-Kids, Teach Young ‘To Accept Their Own Body As It Was Created’ 

Using some of his most powerful language to date, Pope Francis has joined the American College of Pediatricians in denouncing the transgender ideology behind contemporary ideas of fluid sexual identity among children.

[...]

Treating gender confusion as a good and normal thing constitutes an attack on children that can only mean serious problems for them in the future. Or in the words of the pediatricians, it is “child abuse.” [Thomas D. Williams, 4/11/16]

15. Planned Parenthood Ignores Doctors’ Warnings Of Transgender Dangers To Children 

Just ten days after the American College of Pediatricians (ACP) issued a stern statement warning of the dangers that gender ideology poses to children and adolescents, Planned Parenthood began a campaign on social media to “train the next generation of trans allies.”

[...]

Pulling no punches, the doctors stated that conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is “child abuse.” [Thomas D. Williams, 4/3/16]

16. How The Washington Post Gets The North Carolina Anti-Trans Law Wrong 

Major corporations, that long ago were taken over by the sexual left, continue to threaten the state. The NBA is threatening to pull the All-Star Game from the state. Disney, which is about to open a facility in China where the government forces some women to have abortions, is threatening to pull out of the state. American Airline, that has a hub in Charlotte, has denounced the law.

McCrory released a statement this week outlining “myths vs. facts” about the new law.

This past week, the American College of Pediatricians described the transgender ideology as a form of child abuse. [Austin Ruse, 3/27/16]

17. North Carolina Passes Anti-Trans Bill, Corporate Bullies Circling 

There is a great deal of confusion about transgenderism. Advocates argue that people are “assigned” a gender at birth, an “assignment” that may not comport with their eventual “gender identity” or “gender expression” which could include up more than 58 possibilities, according to Facebook, including something called “gender non-binary” where someone believes he is neither male or female.

According to a statement released this week by the American College of Pediatricians, the transgender ideology is actually a form of child abuse. The statement cites studies that show children who are gender confused need psychological help and that nearly all of them straighten out by their mid-twenties.

The College points out that giving a child hormone treatment to halt puberty is highly dangerous. [Austin Ruse, 3/25/16

18. College Of Pediatricians Calls Transgender Ideology ‘Child Abuse’ 

The American College of Pediatricians warns educators and legislators that “a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex” is dangerous for children.

In a strongly worded statement issued today, the professional association of pediatricians says “a person’s belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking.” It describes such thinking as problem that exists in the mind and not the body and “it should be treated as such.”

[...]

The doctors argue that “Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.” [Austin Ruse, 3/21/16

19. Pediatricians Call Gender Discordance Conditioning Child Abuse 

The American College of Pediatricians (ACP) has issued a report urging legislators and educators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal “a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex.” They say endorsing “gender discordance” is “child abuse.”

The report published by the ACP concludes that “conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.” [Lana Shadwick, 3/19/16]

Methodology:

Media Matters used Google to search Breitbart.com for “American College of Pediatricians” between March 19 and December 15, 2016. Articles appearing under the “Breitbart London” section of the site were excluded from analysis. Articles that cited the American College of Pediatricians but did not mention transgender or gender nonconforming youth were excluded from the count. 

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