Irreversible Damage: A Warning We Can't Ignore

Irreversible Damage: A Warning We Can't Ignore

July 10, 2020

"They are our future, these girls. If we don't safeguard them and give them a promising [life], we have no future."

--Abigail Shrier

One by one, they started calling. These weren't conservative parents or even particularly religious ones -- some were liberal, progressive, "open-minded" moms and dads desperate for help. Their stories, Abigail would find out, were eerily the same. Their daughters had started hanging out with friends who'd decided to come out as transgender together. Suddenly, these sweet teenage girls -- who'd never shown a hint of gender confusion -- were demanding breast reduction, hormone treatments, new names and pronouns -- and their parents were beside themselves for someone to intervene. No one, they found out quickly, would.

Abigail hadn't planned on telling their stories. That all changed when a mom tracked her down at the Wall Street Journal and said, "I can't get any journalists to take this on, but my daughter... decided with her friends out of nowhere that she was transgender. And they're all pursuing hormones and surgeries together. It doesn't seem right. I'm a progressive person, [but] this doesn't seem like it fits her at all. She had no childhood history." Abigail tried, initially, to get another investigative journalist to cover it. She couldn't. So she started looking into it herself and found out that this mother was right -- there were thousands of parents all across the country who were experiencing the same thing: girls coming out with their friends under social media's influence.

When she wrote a column about it, Abigail told "Washington Watch's" Sarah Perry, "It sort of exploded. It was the biggest article in the mainstream media about this phenomenon. And all of the sudden, parents from all over the country and actually all over the [Western world] were writing to me to tell me that this was happening to their daughters, too." At that point, Abigail decided, she couldn't turn back. Two hundred interviews later, she's published a book: Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. And if its revelations don't rattle a reader's world, I'm not sure know what will.

She talks about researchers like Dr. Lisa Littman, an OB-GYN now working at Brown University. Littman, she said, is a "progressive, [so] she doesn't have a political axe to grind here... She just noticed [as] she was scrolling through her social media feed that it didn't make sense that so many adolescent girls were coming out as transgender with their friends." She decided to investigate, since true gender dysphoria, she knew, was "a very, very rare condition of discomfort in one's biological sex. It's extremely rare -- .01 percent, so one hundredth of one percent." Turns out, her hunch was right. These girls weren't doubting their biological sex, they were "sharing and spreading their pain."

Littman's statistics, meanwhile, shocked everyone. In friend groups where one girl identified as transgender, the prevalence rate was 70 times what would be expected. "Which meant," Abigail explained, "that this was a lot more like anorexia." In the same way eating disorders spread or cutting or other peer pressures this wasn't a gender issue. This was a social contagion. What they have, she said, "is a lot of anxiety and, in some cases depression... So the transition does not alleviate their distress." Which would explain the high levels of regret from them later on in life.

It's one of the reasons, Littman, Abigail, and others deep in this world of debate, are pleading with the medical and therapy communities to stop fast-tracking these radical interventions like puberty blockers. "These girls are self-indoctrinating," Abigail insists, "[thinking] that if they just try it, all their problems will go away." And it's not just the medical community who are reinforcing that lie, she warns. It's the education system. "[The] part of the book that I'm proudest of is my investigation into the California public school system," Abigail explains, "because I was able to learn that the gender identity indoctrination is so radical and so thorough -- it begins in kindergarten." California's activists, she warns, are very clever. "They took [gender identity] out of sexual education curriculum, so your parents are not even aware it's there. It's not part of the curriculum they're allowed to opt out of. And they put it in anti-bullying curriculum. So, of course, most parents don't want to take their kids out of the anti-bullying program, and they can't."

She's talked to parents who've flat-out asked their schools, "'What's the policy if my kid were to decide she's a boy?' And at least in in California public schools -- and I've heard from New York [and] New Jersey parents -- the policy is not to inform the parents. And this applies to kids who are 12 years old. So, very often, I will talk to parents who say that their daughter went a whole year being addressed as a boy and talked about as a boy and [using] the boys' bathroom [at school], and the parent didn't even know."

Don't think it can't happen to your daughter, she says. It can. But there are things every parent can do. Pay attention to your kids' friend groups. "It becomes very trendy to come out as one of these exotic identifications and want to change your body. Then, their friends are more likely to do it as well. But the thing to really look for is the social media indoctrination. That's a big one if they're spending a lot of time online. And the last thing is: find out what gender ideology is being pushed in your child's school." Or, I would argue, reconsider if public school is even the right decision at all. With the virus forcing families to take a long hard look at learning, maybe now is the time to make a move away from these dangerous and destructive influences.

Either way, get a copy of the book that Amazon refuses to advertise and learn what the activists, doctors, and teachers aren't telling you about the secret suffering of the transgender craze.

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.

Pro-Life America: On the Ropes with Approps

July 10, 2020

They don't have a new president, but House Democrats are giving Americans a pretty good preview of what legislation will look like if they do. And if you care about taxpayer-funded abortion -- and three-quarters of the country does -- it's not pretty.

It was a dress rehearsal, but Thursday's mark-up on a package of foreign aid ought to be just the ticket any complacent conservative needs. In a sign of things to come if liberals retake the White House or Senate, Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) crew was hard at work chipping away at routine, pro-life protections. Republicans, including ranking member Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), fought back hard, introducing amendment after amendment to stop U.S. dollars from flowing to overseas abortions under the ruse of "family planning." But in the end, it wasn't enough.

"I can't agree," Granger argued, "to reverse the important policies put forth by this administration to protect life." She was referring to one of the White House's first acts -- reinstating the Mexico City policy. And although 75 percent of the country (including 60 percent of "pro-choicers") support his decision, Democrats insist on ignoring the vast majority of American taxpayers and funneling money to controversial groups like UNFPA, who are not only a global megaphone for abortion but forced abortion and sterilization too. "There should be no higher priority," subcommittee chair Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) argued than these commonsense measures that protect the unborn."

"We fundamentally just disagree on this issue," Democrat Nita Lowey (D-Calif.) said. You bet we do, Congressman Andy Harris (R-Md.) made clear. When liberals tried to turn the tables on Republicans, arguing that they didn't care about women, Harris, a medical doctor, rose to speak. "This debate has been not about whether you support women. It's not about whether you support children. It's not about whether you support life -- although it is those children who are killed by abortion. It's not about family planning. It's not about contraception. It is about abortion. It's just that simple."

Elections have consequences, and unfortunately, they especially hurt in policy debates like this one -- where routine language on abortion is no longer common ground. And unfortunately, the country is only going to experience more of these moments if they elect a president who no longer thinks there's room for consensus on life.

Reinstating global abortion funding, it turns out, is the mild part of the Democratic party's vision. If, by some miracle, there were still Americans under the assumption that Joe Biden is a moderate, this week's Biden/Sanders platform reveal should have debunked that myth -- once and for all. The Biden-Sanders "unity" document is so extreme it makes Barack Obama look like Franklin Roosevelt. And the unborn are only some of the victims.

"The voters will have a clear choice," Ken Blackwell told Sarah Perry on "Washington Watch." "On the one hand, you have those who want to preserve [religious liberty] and who fundamentally understand that our human rights, are not grants from any government. They are gifts from God inherent in our human dignity. And on the other side, you have those folks who want to chase God and faith out of the public square." The Marxist ideology, he warned, "now frames -- not only the platform of the DNC and their nominee -- but it is, in fact, a part of the transformation of America today that they promise in all of their documents and mouthpieces."

Think about it, Sarah said, a socialist now has his name on the roadmap of the Democratic Party. A man who recently, she pointed out, just went on MSNBC to say, "Listen, if these are adopted, he'll be the most progressive presidential candidate in all time." A socialist calling Joe Biden progressive? Talk about Left of Left!

"This is 110 pages about combating the climate crisis and pursuing environmental justice, when there are parents like me," Sarah said, "who just want their kids to be educated. Who want to be able to practice their beliefs without government interference. Who want to be able to put food on the table." And what do Biden and Sanders want to do? Deconstruct the family. Erase history. Eliminate faith. "It's a very clear choice," Ken said. "This is not going to be a referendum on Donald Trump. This is going to be a choice election."

If you don't believe him, check out the Biden-Sanders plan and compare it to the Trump accomplishments. There are a lot of people in this country desperate to make this an election about personality. It isn't. It's about policy. And the contrast between the two parties and their policies is truly the starkest yet.

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.

Goya Outrage Not Worth a Hill of Beans

July 10, 2020

It was the kind of program that, ordinarily, liberals would cheer. To hear them tell it, expanding the opportunities for minorities has always been their party's idea. But when President Trump took a stab at it, announcing a business and educational project aimed directly at Hispanic people, the Left wasn't about to cut him some slack. And worse than that, they're out to destroy anyone who does.

For Goya CEO Robert Unanue, Thursday's executive order had been a long time coming. Like most Hispanic Americans, he was eager to work with the administration to improve his community's way of life. When President Trump invited him to join his Hispanic Prosperity Initiative, he eagerly accepted. And, at the signing ceremony, he praised Trump, saying, "We are all truly blessed ... to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder. We have an incredible builder, and we pray. We pray for our leadership, our president."

No sooner had he spoken the words than the cancel culture, led by ring leaders like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), started the hashtag #BoycottGoya. To Unanue, who pointed out that he'd done an event at the White House with Michelle Obama too, the backlash was unbelievable.

"You're allowed to talk good or talk praise to one president but... you make a positive comment, all the sudden that's not acceptable," Unanue told Fox News. "If you're called by the president of the United States, you're going to say, 'No, I'm sorry, I'm busy, no thank you?' I didn't say that to the Obamas, and I didn't say that to President Trump."

Asked if he would apologize for the comments, Unanue said absolutely not. In fact, he made his feelings clear a liberal boycott was just another attempt at "suppression of speech." And he's right. These same people who claim to care about minorities -- phonies like AOC and her followers -- have never given two figs about real America. If they did, they'd have set aside their political agendas long enough to realize that Unanue is no enemy. They'd have seen that Goya -- the same company they've decided to blacklist -- just pledged to donate two million cans of food to needy U.S. families. And instead of applauding that -- or, frankly, just remaining silent -- they did what liberals do: proved they care more about politics than people.

The cancel culture is absolutely out of control. This is a man who simply said good about Trump, and what are the mobs doing? Threatening to take down his brand. We might as well be back in the French Revolution, lining people up in the guillotine yard. As Americans, we can't afford to be passive about this leftist revolutionary agenda. Fortunately, there are men of conviction like Robert Unanue who refuse to bend to the angry fringe. But there are far more, NRO's editors warn, "[who] believe they can pacify the mob by throwing it a sacrificial lamb or two. In that, they are mistaken." There is no appeasement. There is only courage or surrender. And only one will guarantee that our country and freedom survive.

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.