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Biden HHS chief Xavier BecerraPool / Getty

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra refused to disavow the surgical or chemical “gender transitioning” of minors this week, once again signaling the Biden administration’s uncompromising fealty to the demands of LGBT activists.

The Daily Caller reported that Becerra was testifying before the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, initially about the administration’s spending priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. Republican Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland took the opportunity to confront the secretary on the administration’s support for so-called “gender-affirming care.”

“Is the president serious — he wants to take our Childhood Health Insurance Program and pay for this?” Harris asked, referring to calls from the White House to federally fund “transitions.”

“I want to be careful how I answer this, because I answer this as secretary, but I also answer this as a father,” Becerra said.

“This is a very simple question,” Harris repeated. “Does the President want to use CHIPs money to pay for gender mutilation surgery?”

“If it is a simple question, then I will tell you the simple answer is we want to make sure everyone in America has access to the health care that they need,” Becerra answered.

“So the answer is yes,” Harris shot back.

Studies find that more than 80% of children experiencing gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence, and that even full “reassignment” surgery often fails to resolve gender-confused individuals’ heightened tendency to engage in self-harm and suicide — and may even exacerbate it by reinforcing their confusion and neglecting the actual root causes of their mental strife.

On top of those issues, experts outside the medical establishment further warn that surgically or chemically reinforcing gender confusion imposes irreversible harm on children such as infertility, impairment of adult sexual function, and reduced life expectancy, as well as the psychological toll of being “locked into” physical alterations regardless of whether they change their minds when they mature.

The issue is grimly illustrated in the story of Yaeli Martinez, a 19-year-old to whom “gender transitioning” was touted as a possible cure for her depression in high school, supported by a high school counselor who withheld what she was going through from her mother. The troubled girl killed herself after trying to live as a man for three years.

Many oft-ignored “detransitioners,” individuals who attempted to live under a different “gender identity” before embracing their true sex, attest to the physical and mental harm of reinforcing gender confusion, as well as to the bias and negligence of the medical establishment on the subject.

Despite this evidence, the Biden administration has been a staunch promoter of transitioning minors.

In April 2022, former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed that “every major medical association agrees that gender-affirming health care for transgender kids is the best practice and potentially life-saving,” and the administration issued documents through the HHS Office of Population Affairs and HHS Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration’s National Child Traumatic Stress Network endorsing “gender-affirming care” for “ transgender and nonbinary children and adolescents.”

The former document was more focused on specific procedures – including puberty blockers, testosterone or estrogen injections, and surgeries to alter or remove breasts, genitals, and reproductive organs – claiming they “improv[e] the mental health and overall well-being of gender diverse children and adolescents.”

The latter document was broader and did not specifically mention surgery but declared that “care … may include evidence-based interventions such as puberty blockers and gender-affirming hormones,” as well as indulgence of transgender pronouns, access to opposite-sex sports teams and restrooms, and an overall commitment to not only LGBT dogma but the broader far-left doctrine of intersectionality, i.e., “continually asking yourself questions about the power and privilege you have based on your own gender identity, sexual orientation, race, provider status, and other aspects of your intersectional identities.”

“Providing gender-affirming care is neither child maltreatment nor malpractice,” the NCTSN claimed at the time. “There is no scientifically sound research showing negative impacts from providing gender-affirming care.”

Last December, Becerra submitted written answers to Republican Rep. Mary Miller of Illinois stating that HHS “is focused on ensuring that care is not stigmatized or denied based on a youth’s gender identity as consistent with the law,” reiterating that “medical, surgical, mental health and non-medical” procedures to “affirm” patients’ gender dysphoria are “supportive form[s] of health care” by “aligning their outward, physical traits with their gender identity,” that “all children and adults” should be afforded these “treatments,” and declaring that “[p]ayers, both public and private, should cover treatments which medical experts have determined to be medically necessary.”

At the time, he also refused to answer whether the Department thinks transitions should be performed on minors without their parents’ consent, or explain its previous claims that puberty-blocking drugs are reversible, stating only that “HHS is not in the practice of medicine and would recommend consulting with medical associations regarding standards of care,” while “[g]enerally speaking, care is between a patient, their family and their health care provider.”