Fox News "Medical A Team" member Dr. Keith Ablow assailed the parents of a transgender child whose story has gone viral on the web, suggesting that six-year-old Ryland Whittington would have been better served by "anti-psychotic medication" than by having his parents affirm his gender identity.
On May 27, Jeff and Hillary Whittington shared Ryland's story in a seven-minute YouTube video. The video, which has been viewed more than 4 million times, describes Ryland's discovery of his gender identity and the family's acceptance of his gender transition:
The Whittingtons' support for Ryland was spotlighted at the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast last month, where they received the Inspiration Award for 2014.
According to a June 3 article on right-wing website LifeSiteNews.com, Fox's Ablow wasn't moved by Ryland's story of self-discovery. LifeSiteNews - which misgendered Ryland throughout its story - reported that Ablow opposes parents helping their children transition to the genders with which they identify (emphasis added):
Massachusetts psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow, an author and Fox News contributor, told LifeSiteNews that the video paints a happy picture while consciously ignoring the risks of early transition - which often involves genital plastic surgery and large doses of hormones.
"I am not convinced that the best option for children who are uncomfortable with their gender is to rapidly transition them to the opposite gender," he said. "I believe that on reflection, it will be shown that other paths may be the wiser paths."
"I believe that it is possible that developing secondary sexual characteristics that match one's DNA may actually be part of someone becoming more comfortable with his or her God-given gender," he said. He added that allowing a child to undergo transition at an early age may prevent them from ever becoming reconciled to their biological sex.
"From a personal, not a professional standpoint, were my daughter to assert that she were a boy, not a girl, there is no chance we would be headed to a surgeon's office without a trial of anti-psychotic medication," Ablow said.
Ablow said that transgender activists have made it more difficult for therapists to do their jobs because they have turned gender dysphoria into a political issue instead of a medical one.
While Ablow has no expertise in gender or sexuality issues, actual experts contradict his transphobic talking points. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, gender identity is usually established by the age of four. Medical professionals note that denying medical treatment to transgender children can be harmful; Dr. Norman Spack of Children's Hospital Boston, for instance, states that many children who don't receive treatment resort to self-mutilation in an attempt to change their anatomies. According to Spack, the earlier children deemed to need treatment start receiving it, the easier of a time they'll have passing as the gender with which they identify and the less likely they'll be to require more radical treatments later in life.
With polls showing record levels of support for marriage equality, opponents are looking for all the backing they can get - including, it appears, from accused war criminals.
In a July 1 article, right-wing website LifeSiteNews.com highlighted Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto's "rebuke" of President Barack Obama for calling for African nations to affirm the rights of LGBT people:
A second African president has rebuffed President Barack Obama's promotion of homosexuality in foreign relations during his $100 million tour of the continent.
Obama said he respects "people's personal views and their religious faith, et cetera," but "when it comes to how the state treats people, how the law treats people," he believes the equality of homosexuality and the traditional family is"a principle that I think applies universally."
Deputy President of Kenya William Ruto responded during Sunday Mass that Kenya is committed to the nuclear family as taught by the Scriptures.
"Those who believe in other things, that is their business," Ruto said at St. Gabriel's Catholic Church in Maili Kumi. "We believe in God."
"This nation, the nation of Kenya," he said, is "sovereign and God-fearing."
In promoting Ruto's comments, LifeSiteNews.com failed to note that he has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for his role in stoking Kenya's post-election violence after the 2007 election. Beginning September 10, Ruto will be tried in abstentia on charges including crimes against humanity, murder, and the forcible removal of persons leading to civilian deaths. That anti-marriage equality forces appear to find an ally in Ruto says a great deal about their increasing desperation for support.
As attention turns to speculation that May 21, 2011, will be the Biblical day of rapture, Media Matters revisits a litany of fringe right-wing media figures who foretold that President Obama might just be the Antichrist - the latest in a long line of world leaders presaged as "the beast."
Glenn Beck's The Blaze and a number of anti-abortion rights outlets are highlighting audio of a 9-1-1 call made by Planned Parenthood employees after a patient who had received an abortion apparently began bleeding.
Here's The Blaze's inflammatory headline:
REPORT: RECORDING REVEALS PLANNED PARENTHOOD INJURED WOMAN IN BOTCHED ABORTION
Aside from invading the patient's privacy, it's unclear what the point of this particular anti-Planned Parenthood frenzy is.
It's not exactly news that abortion -- like any other legal medical procedure -- can occasionally lead to complications, as apparently happened in this case. Abortion obviously has well known risks, but those risks are rare. According to a frequently cited 1999 article, less than 0.3% of abortion patients developed complications that required hospitalization: