A recent exposé has revealed that the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), a group that claims to be a “secular, scientific medical association,” might not be as secular and science-focused as they assert. Instead, leaked documents indicate that the group’s religious views heavily influence its public policy initiatives.
The ACPeds is currently suing the federal government to limit access to the abortion drug mifepristone. They also advocate for banning abortion and affirmative care for transgender youth and seek to eliminate the parental rights of non-heterosexual couples. The legal status of mifepristone will be determined by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a case expected to begin later this month.
While the ACPeds’ executive director, Jill Simons, insists that their opposition cannot “beat us on the facts and the science,” the leaked documents paint a different picture. Board meeting minutes dating back to 2014 raise doubts about the group’s transparency and how it arrives at its medical-based recommendations.
The ACPeds views threats to its organization as coming from sources like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), LGBTQ lobbying bodies, and mainstream medical, psychological, and academic communities. Significantly, the group also perceives “nominal Christians, churches, and organizations” as threats.
The ACPeds’ stance appears deeply rooted in evangelical religious beliefs, with board meetings opening and closing with prayer. The directors view consensus science, academia, and the law as threats to their agenda and even regard other Christians with suspicion if they judge their devotion as being inadequate.
Interestingly, the group has also promoted “conversion therapy,” a practice widely condemned by major medical associations as both pointless and potentially harmful. The ACPeds seem willing to find common ground with gay, lesbian, and bisexual people, but only if it serves their goal of targeting transgender individuals.
This revelation serves as a stark reminder that we must remain vigilant about the forces behind public policy campaigns, as their true intentions may be hidden beneath a veneer of scientific credibility.