Lurie Children’s Hospital next target for far right

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. Photo from Facebook

Right-wing Illinois activists are taking aim at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago for treating transgender children.

Lurie, the largest children’s hospital in the Midwest, has a long history of gender-affirming care. That care is what is drawing the criticism.

The latest volley comes through Freedom Illinois, which calls itself a platform “where we can come together as individuals and freedom loving groups to help inform Illinoisans about the daily, consistent infringement on their constitutional rights & civil liberties.” It was pushing an article from the right-wing City Journal that attacked Lurie over guidance the hospital issued for school districts. The guidance, which is voluntary, explains how schools can support LGBTQ students. Four districts have started to use the guidance.

City Journal called it “promoting radical gender theory, trans activism, and sexually explicit materials.” The guidance has no explicit statements or images. It contains definitions and advice on how to protect and support students.

Freedom Illinois was pushing it on their social media feeds, including Instagram, Facebook and Telegram.

This comes just a week after a one-man protest at the hospital itself.

AXIOS Chicago reported that a man calling himself Billboard Chris showed up at Lurie last week with a sign suggesting children are being given puberty blockers against their will. Another group, Awake Illinois, called him a hero on Twitter. Awake Illinois has also protested a Drag Queen Bingo for teens in Downers Grove and was a loud voice against UpRising Bakery and Cafe’s drag brunch. UpRising Bakery was hit with anti-LGBTQ vandalism not long afterwards.

Lurie is standing firm.

“We stand in solidarity with our transgender patients and families, community, and colleagues who are providing gender-affirming care. We strongly condemn any threats on and harassment toward the transgender community,” the hospital said in a statement released last week. 

“Lurie Children’s has long supported gender-affirming care for transgender youth. All young people should have access to comprehensive, gender-affirming, and developmentally appropriate healthcare that is provided in a safe and inclusive environment.  

“Transgender children, adolescents, and their families deserve care that is grounded in compassion, science and the principles of public health and human rights. These patients and their families are harmed by misinformation, pseudoscience and state-sanctioned actions that deny gender-affirming, lifesaving healthcare. 

“Lurie Children’s is and always will be an organization that welcomes all patients, families, and staff in an inclusive and safe environment. We are proud to be able to provide gender-affirming care and are committed to fighting for the rights and dignity of all families and their children.”

Gender-affirming care has been endorsed by the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.