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PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, April 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-transgender activists gathered outside a Rhode Island Catholic Church last week to protest a lecture delivered by pediatrician Michelle Cretella, who views affirming transgenderism in kids as a form of child abuse.

Dr. Michelle Cretella, MD, FCP, president of the American College of Pediatricians, is a prominent expert in children’s health who has battled against the relentless promotion of transgender ideology as it impacts kids.

At issue was a recently-enacted Rhode Island law which prohibits parents from seeking psychological help for their gender dysphoric children.   

Rhode Island Catholic explained the reason for Cretella’s presentation at the Church:

Last year, the State of Rhode Island made it illegal for a licensed medical professional to counsel a child away from the desire to change his/her gender identity, yet it remains legal to inject that same child with hormone blockers and cross-sex hormones. Currently, Rhode Island public schools are deciding how to implement statewide transgender policies that would open up bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams to anyone who claims to be the opposite gender from their biological sex. Dr Cretella has been on the front lines of the fight against the transgender agenda for 25 years. She has seen firsthand the severe mental and physical abuse that children have endured at the hands of medical professionals who are willing to “transition” a child from boy to girl or girl to boy, a feat that is biologically impossible.”

An estimated 40 protesters who support the state’s new law stood outside St. Pius V Church in Providence to assert that affirmation of transgenderism “saves lives” and that “conversion therapy” is based on “junk science.”

Cretella’s presentation inside the church refuted those assertions.  

“When it comes to what is causing rising numbers of people to identify as transgender,” reports the Providence Journal, Cretella argued, “All teenagers go through a phase known as ‘gender formation.’ During this time, she says, a certain number are susceptible to ‘marketing’ that they are ‘trapped in the wrong body.’”

“Biological sex is not assigned,” wrote Cretella recently. “Sex is determined at conception by our DNA and is stamped into every cell of our bodies. Human sexuality is binary. You either have a normal Y chromosome, and develop into a male, or you don’t, and you will develop into a female. There are at least 6,500 genetic differences between men and women. Hormones and surgery cannot change this.”

“Transgenderism is a psychological disorder, not a biological one,” Cretella told LifeSiteNews last year. “Consequently, we expect transgenderism and its associated medical procedures to increase as society increasingly promotes this lifestyle.”

“The active promotion of transgenderism has resulted in massive uncontrolled and unconsented experimentation upon children and adolescents,” Cretella warned. “This is child abuse.”

“Many children are being permanently sterilized by these treatments and sentenced to a lifetime of toxic medications to impersonate the opposite sex.” These medications can “cause everything from cardiovascular disease to diabetes to cancer.”

Cretella is not alone in opposing such radical procedures for children.

Dr. David Stevens, CEO of Christian Medical & Dental Associations, a national organization of Christian healthcare professionals, is similarly concerned about the trend toward increased medical interventions for gender dysphoric youth.

Stevens told LifeSiteNews that kids “lack the cognitive ability to give informed consent to procedures like this.” Whether they be hormone treatments or surgical procedures, these interventions have lifelong ramifications.

“Among individuals who identify as transgender, use cross-sex hormones, and undergo sex reassignment surgery, there is well-documented increased incidence of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, and risky sexual behaviors,” he said. “Eighty to 85 percent of the time, these kids revert to their biological sex after they go through puberty.”

Stevens recounted the story of a doctor who once told him, “If a parent came to me with an anorexic child, I wouldn’t recommend a diet in order to affirm the child’s desire to be thinner.” On the contrary, the doctor would be moved to find a cure for the child. That same concept is at play when it comes to parents who seek to support their child’s transgender urges. It ends up being “child abuse.”