Pennsylvania taxpayers have paid nearly $17 million since Gov. Tom Wolf (D) took office to fund sex reassignment surgery and other services for minor children — some as young as 14 — and without any legislative approval.
That was the finding of a report from the Pennsylvania Family Institute, a pro-family nonprofit that documented the cash flow through information obtained via right-to-know requests.
“This level of state-endorsed harm upon children is reprehensible,” said Alexis Sneller with the group. “While we knew the Wolf administration was funding services related to these irreversible procedures on minors, now seeing the exact numbers — millions spent towards these detrimental acts — is still shocking.”
Pennsylvania Family Institute researcher Dan Bartkowiak told Delaware Valley Journal the state legislature did not approve those expenditures. Wolf signed an executive order, likely at the behest of former Health Secretary Rachel Levine, a transgender woman. Money from the state began to flow for the treatments in 2015 and in 2016 officials added federal Medicaid funds.
“The administration made it a priority,” said Bartkowiak. Money from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides healthcare for low-income children, was used. And the state government worked with gender clinics, such as the one at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), to pay for youngsters to transition, including for surgery, he said.
Many people assume that the funding is for adults, but “this is for kids,” he said. “These are children.”
The co-founder of the CHOP gender program, Nadia Dowsha, testified before the state House Health Committee that surgery, including the removal of healthy breasts, is performed on children as young as 14.
“It’s disgusting,” Bartkowiak said. “This should not be taking place.”
Regarding the state paying for sex change surgery, a spokesperson for Wolf said, “Pennsylvania should not discriminate against any individual based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.”
There has been a 5000 percent increase in the funding for transgender services for children since 2015.
Bruce Chambers, former president of the Great Valley School Board in Chester County, said the impetus for kids to change their gender starts in the schools.
“While it may be shocking to some that tax dollars are being spent on children’s sex reassignment surgeries and procedures, what many don’t realize is that Pennsylvania school districts are actually grooming children to pursue gender non-conforming behavior and sex reassignment,” said Chambers.
“Many school districts, such as Great Valley, have secret meetings with students who may show gender non-conforming behavior. No one knows what happens in these meetings, and the school district staff is directed to use the student’s gender preference and name change and are ordered to hide all this information from the parents.
“So the parents don’t know anything, and no one knows what the school counselors are advising the students. This is just one aspect of how the school districts encourage gender non-conforming behavior, which can lead to the next step of sex reassignment procedures and surgery. So, our Pennsylvania government not only uses tax dollars for paying for the sex change medical procedures, but they are using our tax dollars in the school districts to groom the students toward considering these procedures,” Chambers said.
Bartkowiak said he hopes voters will use this information as part of their process of choosing candidates on Tuesday.
“It’s on the ballot. It depends on who is in the governor’s office.”
State Sen. Doug Mastriano, the Republican running for governor, opposes using state funds to pay for gender transition treatment and surgeries.
“Democrats such as AG Shapiro don’t just want to indoctrinate our children. They are also forcing Pennsylvania parents to bankroll their extremism,” said Mastriano.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro did not respond to a request for comment.
However, as attorney general, he signed an amicus brief in support of “transgender rights” to allow biological boys to use girls’ restrooms and locker rooms in Virginia. He also opposed a Pennsylvania bill, vetoed by Wolf which would have prevented biological males from competing in girls’ sports.
Meanwhile, the money goes out. “This year, it is going to be over $4 million (going toward transition services for children),” Bartkowiak said.
Chambers said he believes the real number is even higher.
“If you calculated the money spent in all the Pennsylvania school districts on gender non-conforming ‘programs,’ I am confident that dollar amount would exceed the $16.7 million spent on the medical procedures found by the Pennsylvania Family Institute.”