Is sex-change treatment Planned Parenthood's new moneymaker?

Transgenderism | The nation’s largest abortion provider capitalizes on the growing acceptance of transgender rights
by Bob Brown
Posted 4/27/16, 11:30 am

While pro-life legislation chips away at its taxpayer-based revenue, the nation’s leading abortion provider might have found a new cash cow.

At 32 of its centers in 10 states, Planned Parenthood now offers hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for clients wanting to change their gender expression. Despite the long-term physical and psychological risks associated with gender reassignment treatments, the abortion giant’s little-known but emerging enterprise hasn’t incited the same public backlash as another of its formerly hush-hush business practices—trafficking in aborted babies’ body parts.

Capitalizing on an upswing in the growing acceptance of transgender rights, Planned Parenthood is expanding its brand into a potentially lucrative market.

The cost for a complete gender reassignment—surgery, therapy, hormones, lab tests, and doctor visits—ranges from $20,000 to more than $100,000, depending mainly on the number and types of surgeries involved. Fewer than 500 of the nation’s 700,000 transgender individuals undergo gender reassignment surgery in any given year, and Planned Parenthood does not perform sex-change operations. But fees for office visits and drugs can be significant sources of revenue: $100 or more per appointment and anywhere from $360 to $1,500 per year for the drugs. Some health insurance plans cover gender reassignment treatment, as does Medicare.

Listed under “Other Services” in its annual report, Planned Parenthood’s transgender HRT business income presently accounts for less than 1 percent of the organization’s $1.3 billion annual revenue. But there is money to be made in supplying a full course of HRT, which may take two to three years. And the demand is growing. At Planned Parenthood’s center in Asheville, N.C., for example, the number of transgender clients rose from just a few people in 2013 to almost 60 in less than two years. Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri last month added transgender services at all six of its centers.

Known primarily for its women’s health services, Planned Parenthood not only provides tablets and injections for women transitioning to men but also for men taking on female anatomical characteristics. A prospective client makes an initial consultation with an on-site “clinician” who takes blood for lab work, Katherine Simpson of Planned Parenthood’s Walnut Creek, Calif., affiliate told me. In the case of a male-to-female transition, Simpson said, the client then gets a four-week supply of testosterone-suppressing drugs. When he returns for a follow-up appointment, he undergoes more lab work to determine whether Planned Parenthood can prescribe a full regimen of HRT. Simpson said clients do not need a referral from a doctor to begin the hormone treatments.

That practice could put people at risk, said Peter Spriggs, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council.

“Planned Parenthood seems determined to streamline the process” of making hormones accessible to greater numbers of people, he said, adding the organization “appears to be evading even the Standards of Care recommended by the pro-transgender World Professional Association for Transgender Health. … Planned Parenthood’s ‘informed consent’ model skips over any requirement for a referral or for any substantial psychosocial assessment.”

As a result, “many more people could suffer the serious side effects that can result from” hormone therapy, he said.

Those serious side effects have many researchers questioning whether doctors should prescribe HRT at all. Not only have studies linked HRT to an increased risk of cancer, but gender reassignment treatments might be part of the reason why transgender men and women are killing themselves at a tragic rate.

A joint study from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality reports 41 percent of transgender individuals attempt suicide, compared to 1.6 percent in the general population. LGBT advocates blame the crisis on the current “social and legal convention in the United States” that fosters discrimination and ridicule of “gender non-conforming people.”

But studies published by the National Institute of Health suggest the source of emotional turmoil for transgender people, both before and after surgery, often comes from within. A large Dutch study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, found 61 percent of patients with “cross-gender identification” also suffered from other psychiatric disorders.

A long-term study in another socially liberal country, Sweden, uncovered a staggering suicide mortality rate: Individuals who had undergone sex reassignment surgery were 19 times more likely than a comparable non-transgender population to commit suicide.

HRT and other gender-bending treatments are misguided “medicine,” according to Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

“‘Sex change’ is biologically impossible,” McHugh wrote in The Wall Street Journal. “People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Claiming that this is a civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder.”

Bob Brown

Bob is a graduate of the WORLD Journalism Institute’s mid-career course.

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  • TxAgEngr
    Posted: Tue, 05/10/2016 02:56 pm

    Jesus teaches us in John 10:10 that the enemy of The Good Shepherd "comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy..".  He very clearly describes the operations and the results of this utterly wicked and Satanic organization.

  • MTJanet
    Posted: Tue, 05/10/2016 02:56 pm

    If it can make a dollar, planned barrenhood is all over it.  Never confuse this organization with appropriate or even adequate health care - their god is money, and they serve it well.  

  • socialworker
    Posted: Tue, 05/10/2016 02:56 pm

    41% attempting suicide!!!   That's a staggering number.  And the left denies common sense saying that it's due to the cultural rejection of that population.  If that were the case, every minority that came to the U.S. and was rejected for a while by the majority population would have staggering numbers like that.  Disabled people would have numbers like that.  

  • Laura W
    Posted: Tue, 05/10/2016 02:56 pm

    Besides the additional revenue, this seems like a shrewd ploy to give them something else to point to that can focus attention away from their heavy involvement with abortion. It will probably also create more loyal supporters, most of whom probably already feel alienated by many of those who oppose PP over abortion.

  •  William Peck 1958's picture
    William Peck 1958
    Posted: Tue, 05/10/2016 02:56 pm

    I've assumed that the transgender issue morphed from a) the Gaystapo blurring the lines between men and women and b) that chopping off, crafting, adding on body parts was too much trauma for the individual. PLUS - you could increase your "market" overnight by people waking up and declaring "I am not what I see in the mirror. I am the opposite". Also, if there are boys who think they are girls (and vice versa), what standards are they measuring up to that says they are are one or the other ??? God help us.

  • Slava Tebje Gospodi
    Posted: Tue, 05/10/2016 02:56 pm

    "(A)n upswing in the growing acceptance of transgender rights" Oh, really? Is that why 888,123 people (as of Wednesday morning) have signed the AFA "Boycott Target" petition? Who do they think they're fooling? I used to shop at Target around every two weeks. But no more.  PP, however couldn't care less. They make their obscene profits off of the worst situations in society.