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November 21, 2022

Amid Bomb Threats to Boston Children’s, Pressley, Evans, Norton, Colleagues Urge DOJ to Step Up Efforts to Address Anti-Trans Threats to Children’s Hospitals

Bomb Threats Linked to Treatment of Trans and Nonbinary Patients, With Boston Children’s Receiving Third Threat Last Week

Text of Letter (PDF)

BOSTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), along with Congressman Dwight Evans (D-PA) and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), led 36 members of Congress in writing to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) about a wave of threats of violence directed to several children’s hospitals across the country because of their treatment of transgender and non-binary patients. The lawmakers’ letter comes after Boston Children’s Hospital received its third bomb threat just last week, and follows similar threats to medical institutions in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Pittsburgh, and across the country.

“Our trans youth deserve to receive essential, life-saving, gender-affirming health care and our medical personnel should be able to provide it without fear of being attacked,” said Rep. Pressley. “From the brutal nightclub shooting in Colorado Springs this weekend to the latest bomb threat against Boston Children’s just last week, anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ+ violence is on the rise and must be taken seriously. That’s why we’re calling on the DOJ to immediately step up efforts to help keep health care providers, patients and community members safe. As we work to ensure accountability for these acts of violence, intimidation and fear, we won’t stop fighting to affirm the dignity and humanity of our trans, non-binary and LGBTQ+ siblings.”

Evans said, “I am appalled that anyone would sink so low as to threaten children’s hospitals that care for many of the most vulnerable Americans. These hateful threats have consumed law enforcement resources and caused disruptions for patients, the families, the staff and the community – and they need to stop! And the shooting at an LGBTQ club in Colorado is another tragic example of what anti-LGBTQ incitement does in America and shows the need to take this seriously.”

“All people deserve equality, dignity, respect, and safety, especially in medical settings,” Norton said. “I look forward to DOJ’s response to this important letter and thank Rep. Evans and Rep. Pressley for their work on this important issue.”

In their letter, the lawmakers urged DOJ to outline the steps the agency is taking to counter the threats and provide further guidance to health care providers on how to protect their staff and patients from such threats. They also asked DOJ to respond to several specific questions about its response to the threats, including whether the agency plans to coordinate its response with trans advocacy organizations.

Joining Reps. Pressley, Evans and Norton on the letter are Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee, Barbara Lee, Brendan Doyle, Raul Grijalva, Rashida Tlaib, Juan Vargas, Sara Jacobs, David Cicilline, Lori Trahan, Jamaal Bowman, Mary Gay Scanlon, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Nikema Williams, Marie Newman, Donald Payne, Jr., James P. McGovern, Jan Schakowsky, Anna Eshoo, Scott Peters, Stephen F. Lynch, Adriano Espaillat, Hank Johnson, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Carolyn Maloney, William R. Keating, Danny K. Davis, Earl Blumenauer, André Carson, Grace Napolitano, Suzanne Bonamici, Mondaire Jones, and Chellie Pingree.

The full text of the letter is available here.