A woman in Oregon receiving treatment for breast cancer has been dropped by her health clinic of 12 years because she expressed views critical of gender ideology.
Marlene Barbera, who is scheduled for a mastectomy later this month, told Reduxx that she had commented on the presence of a transgender pride flag that was hanging in the waiting room of the Richmond Family Medical Clinic in Portland last year.
Barbera explained that she had written a message to her doctor on MyChart, a website where patients can access their personal health information, describing that she found the inclusion of “political messaging in a healthcare setting” as “offensive.”
She, like a growing number of women, has “gender critical” views, rejecting modern ideologies that conflate biological sex and “gender identity.” Barbera mentioned she had faced rape and death threats from trans activists on X (formerly Twitter), many of whom would have identified with that same flag.
Initially, the Doctor, who she revealed had been her primary care provider for over ten years, said that he would not take the flag down. But while Barbera had initially believed their correspondence to be private, she later discovered that the note to her physician had been viewed and shared by other staff at the clinic.
This June, while attempting to leave a message for her doctor regarding blood test results, the issue continued to escalate. A receptionist at the clinic, who Barbera speculated was transgender, did not permit her to be patched through to her doctor.
“The person insisted I make an appointment. I have breast cancer and consequently an abundance of medical appointments so I did not want to do that. They got frustrated with my ‘non-compliance’ and hung up on me,” Barbera told Reduxx.
“Thinking it might have been in error, I called back. I was told I was ‘not allowed’ and that I must speak to the previous person who had hung up on me. I declined as things hadn’t gone well the first time.”
She then questioned whether the refusal from the first receptionist was due to her previous complaint about the trans pride flag in the lobby.
“I asked, guessing ‘did I hurt the trans person’s feelings?’ And the receptionist took offense to the question, asking ‘what did you say‘ slowly and with great emphasis.”
Weeks later, Barbera received an email from Oregon Health Science University’s (OHSU) Stein Berger, informing her that she had been “discharged from receiving medical care at the Richmond Family Medicine Clinic,” effective immediately, with services to be cut off from all OHSU Family Medicine Clinics, including immediate care clinics, from July 29th. The email did in fact specify that she was being removed “because of ongoing disrespectful and hurtful remarks about our LGBTQ community and staff.”
Barbera told Reduxx that the incident had sent her “anxiety through the roof” and that she was struggling with her mental health as a result of the stress.
“I have severe chronic agitated depression since teen years,” Barbera explains. “Now I have no primary care doctor and nowhere else to go. I have been made to feel like a worthless nothing.”
This is not the first time a woman has lost access to critical medical services due to her “gender critical” views.
In October of last year, a woman identified as Emma by the UK’s Daily Mail was banned from having an operation in London’s Princess Grace Hospital because she requested single sex accommodation. The woman, who had been scheduled for a complex colorectal operation, also expressed that she did not want to “use pronouns or engage with such manifestations of gender ideology.”
Despite having experience being the victim of sexual assault, Emma was banned from having her procedure at the facility for requesting single-sex care.