By Jonathon Van Maren
Last month, I noted the utter self-absorption of trans activists who were actually complaining that mastectomies for women suffering from life-threatening breast cancer were taking precedent over their own “top surgeries,” in which healthy breasts would be removed in order to make them look more male. Some trans activists, however, are willing to take it further—while many are intentionally destroying their own ability to produce children, they have decided that it is the responsibility of the state to help them in this regard. From The Guardian:
NHS England is to be taken to court by the UK’s equality watchdog for failing to offer fertility services to transgender patients. The Equality and Human Rights Commission will launch a high-profile judicial review action, a legal manoeuvre that is likely to prove controversial at a time when the NHS is struggling to balance budgets and provide core services.
In other words, while “core services”—life-saving, necessary treatment—is underfunded, trans activists are demanding that the fertility that in many cases they intentionally destroyed with hormone treatments and voluntary castration be restored or preserved by the already overstretched National Health Service. More:
Last month the Observer reported that the commission had written to NHS England putting it on notice that it needed to offer fertility services to transgender patients before they underwent treatment for gender dysphoria, a process that normally results in a loss of fertility.
By extracting and storing eggs and sperm before they undergo gender reassignment, transgender people can choose to have their biological children delivered via surrogates later in life. However, many are keen to proceed with treatment when they are teenagers, and may not have the resources to pay for such fertility services. This, the commission argues, discriminates against transgender people, whom it says should be offered the services as a standard procedure.
NHS England maintains that it is not its responsibility to ensure that fertility treatment is available to all patients, including transgender people. Currently it falls to individual clinical commissioning groups – the bodies that buy services for patients – to decide whether to provide them on the NHS, but many choose not to do so for transgender patients, according to the commission. After receiving NHS England’s response, the commission has said it will now start legal proceedings. It is understood that NHS England continues to argue that it is under no obligation to offer the service at a national level.
This is an extraordinary and bizarre marriage of the nanny state and the Sexual Revolution: The government and the taxpayers are expected to provide transgender people with children once they have attempted a sex change. Those suffering from gender dysphoria must be given what they want, regardless of material reality or the fact that in most cases, they have chosen to eliminate their fertility—and if they do not get what they want, they’re planning (as always) to sue:
“We have received a comprehensive response from NHS England to our letter regarding the provision of fertility services for transgender patients before they undergo treatment for gender dysphoria,” said Rebecca Hilsenrath, chief executive of the commission.
“We are proceeding with our judicial review claim and will remain in discussions with NHS England about the need to ensure the transgender community can access health services free from discrimination, and that individuals do not have to choose between treatment for gender dysphoria and the chance to start a family.”
The commission argues that gender dysphoria falls within NHS England’s specialised commissioning remit, which ensures appropriate treatment is given to those with complex conditions. The legal case is likely to shine a light on how a large increase in people requesting transitioning treatment is placing greater demands on the health service.
Penny Mordaunt, minister for women and equalities, has launched an inquiry into what has driven a 4,400% increase in the number of girls being referred for transitioning treatment in the past decade. In 2009, 40 girls were referred by doctors for gender treatment. Last year the number had risen to 1,806. The role of social media and the teaching of transgender issues in schools will form part of the inquiry.
A spokeswoman for NHS England said: “NHS England has responded in detail to the EHRC explaining why we believe their request is both misjudged and potentially unfair to NHS patients. If, however, they still decide to sue the NHS, the courts will consider the matter in the usual way.”
It will be very interesting to see how the courts rule on this issue. In a saner time, these would be an open and shut case. These days, however, the enormous cultural clout possessed by a handful of unstable activists could easily cow judges into making absurd pronouncements simply to avoid the media crucifixion that generally follows the decision to do the reasonable thing.
For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.