Republican lawmakers are demanding answers after two young people participating in a transgender hormone study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) committed suicide.
The study, entitled “Psychosocial Functioning in Transgender Youth after 2 Years of Hormones,” was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in January and examined the impacts of gender-affirming hormones (GAH) on “transgender and nonbinary youth” between the ages of 12 and 20.
According to the research article, 11 participants reported suicidal thoughts throughout the study and two died by suicide.
NIH gave $477,444 in a five-year grant to the Boston Children’s Hospital, the University of California at San Francisco, and the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago for the study.
15 Republican lawmakers have sent a letter to Dr. Lawrence Tabak, the acting director at NIH, asking why the study was not terminated after participants reported adverse effects or, let alone when participants died.
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“It is alarming that vulnerable young people died by suicide while participating in a taxpayer-funded study that will almost certainly inflict devastating physical harm on those who participated,” the letter stated.
“Rather than shutting the study down after such serious adverse events, the researchers published their paper, concluding that the study was a success because cross-sex hormones had altered subjects’ physical appearance and improved psychosocial functioning,” the lawmakers added, condemning the continuation of the experimentation.
The lawmakers also addressed the severe, life-altering risks that the participants now face due to the treatments they have had.
For example, participants who received cross-sex hormones after puberty suppression are “likely sterile as a result,” according to the lawmakers.
Additional risks to the participants include an increased chance of cardiovascular disease and blood clotting.
Lawmakers have also criticized the study for subjecting the young participants, the majority of whom were minors, to “radical gender ideology.”
Another major issue that was found with this study was that there was no control group included in the study, making it difficult to present the results as valuable in any capacity.
The Republican lawmakers demanded their questions, including the age of the suicide victims, the clinic that administered the hormones, and which steps could have been taken to halt and reevaluate the study after the deaths occurred, be answered by June 9.
Lawmakers are also requesting to know what steps, if any, were taken to provide proper mental health monitoring and care for the participants so they could ensure they were not at risk for suicide.
“It is sickening that the federal government is preying on young people and using our taxpayer dollars to advance its radical gender ideology,” said Rep. Josh Breechen (R-Okla.) in a press release.
Sen. Ted Budd (R-NC) slammed the NIH-funded study as being a “highly questionable experiment.”
“Taxpayer dollars should not be used to fund studies that encourage gender transition interventions on young people,” Budd said.
Additional signees on the letter include Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Reps. Mary Miller (R-Ill.), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Eli Crane (R-Ariz.), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Randy Weber (R-Texas), Chip Roy (R-Texas), Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), and Michael Cloud (R-Texas).