A coalition of thousands of Catholic and religious medical professionals sent a letter Tuesday confronting three top medical groups that had urged the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute critics of “gender-affirming medicine.”

“We write this open letter in response to your correspondence dated October 3, 2022, to Attorney General [Merrick] Garland,” the letter, led by the Catholic Medical Association (CMA), begins.

The CMA is a national organization of more than 2,000 health care professionals that uphold the principles of the Catholic faith in the science and practice of medicine.

“Expression of concern over the ability of youth to understand and consent to irreversible surgical interventions that result in loss of fertility and adult sexual function does not constitute harassment or intimidation,” CMA argued.

The letter refers to a united call by the American Medical Association (AMA), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) for the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute activists and journalists who reported this summer on hospitals performing irreversible gender surgeries on children.

The three groups had written to Garland Oct. 3 urging him to launch an investigation into the backlash, claiming that hospitals and medical staff faced “attacks” and threats of violence in the form of emails, phone calls, and protestors.

The groups had urged the Justice Department to “investigate” and “prosecute” anyone responsible for spreading “disinformation” about gender programs.

“We now urge your office to take swift action to investigate and prosecute all organizations, individuals, and entities responsible,” they wrote.

The groups said the “attacks” were “rooted in an intentional campaign of disinformation, where a few high-profile users on social media share false and misleading information targeting individual physicians and hospitals, resulting in a rapid escalation of threats, harassment, and disruption of care across multiple jurisdictions.”

The CMA said many of its members have faced harassment, threats, and job loss over their “efforts to bring attention to the major deficiencies in current data on the safety and efficacy of ‘gender affirming’ medical interventions.”

“We call upon each of your organizations, and other professional associations to join the organizations we represent in critical appraisal of the merits and limitations of current scientific evidence in the growing field of gender medicine,” the letter stated.

The letter also noted that the medical groups had “failed to acknowledge the concerns raised in Finland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, France, and other countries” about prescribing puberty blockers and sex-transition hormones to children.

These countries have all recently scaled back access to gender-affirming treatments and surgeries on children due to concerns about their long-term side effects and negative psychological outcomes.

CMA’s letter was joined by the American College of Pediatricians, the Coalition for Jewish Values Healthcare Council, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, the Coptic Medical Association of North America, and the National Association of Catholic Nurses, USA.

The letter also copied Garland.

The AMA and DOJ did not respond to CNA’s requests for comment.