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Long-awaited independent review concludes children need counseling and care, not experimental procedures altering their bodies

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2024

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Vice President of Litigation Strategy and Center for Conscience Initiatives Jonathan Scruggs regarding a newly released independent review overseen by pediatrician Dr. Hilary Cass and commissioned by England’s National Health Service to evaluate medical procedures to make children appear like the opposite sex:

“Children struggling with their sex deserve the best possible care, and—as this independent review from Dr. Cass shows—that does not include rushing children to permanently alter their bodies. For years, activists have relied on their own consensus to push experimental procedures on kids, but as the years have gone on, the body of evidence continues to grow in favor of biological reality and common sense. The independent Cass report surveys numerous studies across many countries and many years and rightly concludes that this field is marked by ‘remarkably weak evidence’ where practitioners have ‘abandoned normal clinical approaches’ harming children. Dr. Cass said it well. These children ‘deserve very much better.’

“These children do deserve better. They need the love and support of their parents, not school officials who work behind their parents’ backs to secretly treat children as the opposite sex. Children also need counseling and mental-health treatment, not government officials banning counseling and pushing kids toward life-altering drugs and surgeries. We urge government officials and medical professionals to review the evidence in this independent review and take steps to protect our children from these unproven and dangerous procedures.”

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom International Director of Advocacy Robert Clarke:

“Children cannot consent to life-altering procedures in the full knowledge of the consequences involved. Dr. Cass helpfully highlights the depth of the mental health crisis impacting younger generations – and the possible impact that social media addiction and pornography could have on feelings of gender dysphoria. We are letting this generation down by failing to help and support them in a holistic way to accept their bodies and feel comfortable and confident as themselves.”

The following excerpt appears in the study chaired by Dr. Cass:

“There are few other areas of healthcare where professionals are so afraid to openly discuss their views, where people are vilified on social media, and where name-calling echoes the worst bullying behavior. This must stop. Polarization and stifling of debate do nothing to help the young people caught in the middle of a stormy social discourse, and in the long run will also hamper the research that is essential to finding the best way of supporting them to thrive.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT Jonathan Scruggs

Jonathan Scruggs serves as senior counsel and vice president of litigation strategy and the Center for Conscience Initiatives with Alliance Defending Freedom. In this role, he identifies new litigation opportunities and develops new strategies for protecting free speech and religious liberty in collaboration with the chief legal counsel and litigation team directors. As the leader for the Center for Conscience Initiatives, Scruggs oversees the litigation team defending the rights of professionals and business owners to live out their faith as well as the litigation efforts to protect equal opportunities for women in athletics. Since joining ADF in 2006, Scruggs has worked on and prevailed in a variety of cases that protect the right of people to freely express their faith in their business, at school, and in the public square. He earned his J.D. at Harvard Law School and is admitted to practice in the states of Arizona and Tennessee. Scruggs is also admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court and multiple federal district and appellate courts.

ABOUT Robert Clarke

Robert E. Clarke serves as legal counsel and director of European advocacy for ADF International at its office in Vienna, Austria. He specializes in religious freedom issues and cases before the European Court of Human Rights as well as leading efforts across Europe in defence of life, family, and religious freedom. Prior to joining ADF International, Clarke was in-house counsel for the Nursing and Midwifery Council in London, prosecuting cases of medical misconduct. He qualified as a barrister at 2 Bedford Row in London, specializing in criminal and regulatory law. Clarke earned his LL.B with American law from the University of Nottingham with honours in 2012, having spent one year at the University of Virginia School of Law. He also completed the Bar Professional Training Course at Nottingham Law School. Clarke completed the ADF leadership development program to become a Blackstone Fellow in 2011. He is qualified as a barrister and is admitted to the Bar of England and Wales.