American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a nonprofit organization
representing 64,000 pediatricians dedicated to the health, safety and
well-being of all infants, children, adolescents and young adults, and
its North Carolina chapter, representing 2,000 pediatric care
professionals serving children in the state, join in calling for the
repeal of HB2, legislation recently signed into law by North Carolina
governor Pat McCrory.
In expressing concerns about how HB2
will marginalize and stigmatize already vulnerable children and youth,
Deborah Ainsworth, MD, FAAP, president of the AAP North Carolina
Chapter, issued the following statement:
"As pediatricians, we
know first-hand how increasing burdens and barriers for youth who are
lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) can increase their risk of
depression, substance abuse, dropping out of school, or suicide.
law can also have unintentional consequences for children born with
gender-related genetic disorders, children with disabilities who may
need a different sex parent to help them in the restroom, and children
who find themselves homeless due to lack of support for their gender
"We also know that supportive and affirming
communities, schools, friends and families can buffer all young people –
especially LGBT youth – from these negative experiences and outcomes
while simultaneously promoting positive health and well-being. We all
have a fundamental responsibility to support and nurture children and
adolescents to ensure that they can grow and develop into healthy
adults. Laws like HB2 send a distressing message to transgender youth
and can worsen the challenges many already face. We must do better for
North Carolina's young people. They're counting on us."
Remley, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP, executive director and chief executive
officer of the AAP, also issued the following statement:
in North Carolina and across the country know what children need: they
need the stability and support of nurturing adults, they need the
acceptance and compassion of their peers and community, and they need to
feel safe where they live and where they learn. The bill recently
signed by Gov. McCrory, and the flurry of similar bills that have been
introduced in state legislatures this year, fails to meet children's
most basic needs of validation and protection.
are transgender are already at heightened risk for violence, bullying
and harassment, and are already more prone to depression and engaging in
self-harm, including suicide. HB2 and other measures making their way
through state legislatures across the country exacerbate those risks by
creating hostile environments for transgender youth, all implying the
same message; 'you're different, something is wrong with you, you need
to change in order to fit in here.'
"The message some public
leaders have chosen is not the message we should be telling transgender
children and teens. The message of the American Academy of Pediatrics to
transgender youth is this: we support you, and we will speak up for
you. And so today, we do. We urge the governor of North Carolina and all
other states considering similar measures to reconsider and repeal
these harmful policies, and in so doing, stand up for transgender
In February, the AAP joined several other leading health and welfare organizations in a letter urging governors to oppose discriminatory legislation against transgender people. Last week, the AAP Voices blog published a post on pediatricians' guiding families of transgender children on a path toward well-being.
American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 64,000 primary
care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric
surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of
infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information,
visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.
Carolina Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics/North Carolina
Pediatric Society is an organization of 2,000 pediatric care
professionals throughout North Carolina working to empower pediatricians
and our partners to foster the physical, social, and emotional
well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more
information, visit www.ncpeds.org and follow us on Twitter @ncpeds.