If U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace wants to call her opponent “woke,” a supporter of a “bizarre liberal agenda” and all sorts of other meaningless and misleading phrases, she should know she’s treading on dangerous grounds.
First, she’s endangering her re-election.
In a new ad, Mace criticizes her 1st Congressional District opponent, Democrat Annie Andrews, for her support of “gender affirming care,” the ad says.
That’s a lame and heartless talking point, but certainly one that will resonate with a portion of the electorate.
Here’s Mace’s problem: During her time as a state representative, Mace supported MUSC, where — as referenced in her ad — gender-affirming care is practiced.
In 2018, she voted to approve the House version of the state budget that would have given MUSC more than $77 million. Later in the year, she voted against the final version of the budget after a conference of Senate and House members took away $3 million from MUSC, reducing its allotment to about $74 million.
In 2019, she approved even more for the hospital in the House version of the budget to the tune of about $84 million. She voted against the final version of the budget that included the same amount of money.
While we can’t be sure if her vote against the final version of the 2019 budget was because of funding to MUSC, Mace has historically shown support for the hospital, which is a major employer and health care provider in her district.
Just last year, she was at MUSC promoting COVID vaccinations.
She showed that support until Andrews, an MUSC pediatrician, became her opponent.
In politics, money speaks. When a lawmaker votes to give money, it shows that lawmaker supports where that money goes. Mace might personally believe that gender affirming care is part of the “bizarre liberal agenda,” but she didn’t have a problem supporting the hospital where that so called “agenda” is played out.
This is what that says about Mace — she’s being intellectually dishonest to get votes from the extreme right. She can’t stand on her actual beliefs because those wouldn’t get her those votes.
That doesn’t mean Andrews is the better candidate. But she’s not the one running such blatantly misleading ads.
MUSC is not committing terrible and harmful actions. The hospital system isn’t perfect, but providing care to all types of people should be applauded. It’s Mace taking the terrible and harmful actions through her ad.
In Mace’s ad, she references a research summary for a 2021 MUSC conference that FITS News wrote about. The summary says, in part, that over 10 years at an MUSC clinic, “the average age of first visit was 13.6 years (range: 4-18 years)“ for children with gender related issues.
The ad says that Andrews is “pushing hospitals to administer gender changing hormones to children as young as 4 years old.”
First, it’s just not true. Talk to any rational medical doctor in SC and they will tell you it is not medically sound for a 4-year-old to be treated with hormones for a gender related issue. Children of prepubescence ages are not getting hormones for such a reason. It’s not happening.
Secondly, did Mace ever consider that the parents of that 4-year-old probably have great concern about a real condition and that’s why they’re bringing their kid into a specialty clinic? Maybe something like self mutilation? Or displaying characteristics of intersex, an actual way babies can be born?
Has Mace seen the cost of health care? Average people don’t just randomly pop in for a doctor’s visit at a highly specialized clinic.
Also, the research summary says only half of the youth there for gender reasons received hormonal therapy. The summary doesn’t specify what treatment each individual child received or for what condition. So let this be emphasized — 4-year-olds are not getting hormone treatment as the ad implies
Even FITS News, likely the most conservative news outlet in South Carolina, said in its article referenced by Mace that “it is unclear whether any four-year-olds received such treatment at MUSC.”
Mace is seizing on one child’s condition to falsely assert that doctors are out here doing something akin to sinister experiments on kids, or some other delusion. The ad is using “gender affirming care” to misdirect people into thinking a hospital is doing something crazy like sex change operations on kids.
None of this is happening. None of it. People should not fall for this kind of misdirection.
Doctors are providing therapies and treatments to try to help youth. That’s that. It’s sick that Mace is trying to score political points by pushing an almost conspiratorial view about young kids with actual conditions as well as transgender youth and their medical therapies. Mace has reduced doctors’ and parents’ decisions to an attack ad and that’s just shameful.
In a statement, Andrews said: “I do not support gender affirming surgery for anyone under 18 – nor does MUSC perform those procedures. What I support is evidenced-based medical care, with parental consent, for teens struggling with gender identity issues.”
The delusion that Mace is pushing in her ads is dangerous for other reasons.
Right now, a bill is ready for debate in the South Carolina State House that would send doctors to prison for up to 20 years if they give certain kinds of medication to transgender youth. We should not live in a world in which doctors, who know far better than politicians what treatment patients need, live under such threats.
It’s disgusting that someone in a position of power like Mace would punch down on transgender youth. That’s what her criticism of gender affirming care is really doing. Mace is showing a malicious side by writing transgender youth off as part of something “bizarre.”
The fact is, a small number of youth experience conditions that makes them feel uncomfortable and out of place with how they were born. They can go through trying mental health issues because of this. And doctors are there to help them in consultation with their parents.
It’s terrible what Mace is doing and questionable if she even understands the consequences. More and more, we see people acting on misinformation by politicians. Remember the guy who tried to storm an FBI office after the raids on Mar-A-Lago? How about Jan. 6? Remember that?
Mace is endangering doctor’s at MUSC by promoting bogus ideas about a certain clinic while beating up on therapies that medical professions know can help a small group of children.
She’s doing all that just so she can up her points on her culture warrior scorecard.
That’s pathetic and dangerous.