California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new law Thursday night to strip rights away from parents who protest their children’s blind pursuit of destructive surgeries sold to confused minors as “gender affirmation.”
Under Senate Bill 107 introduced by San Francisco-area State Sen. Scott Wiener, California will now become a “refuge” for trans-identifying minors who seek irreversible medical treatment for gender dysphoria. The legislation was supposedly aimed at blocking red states from enforcing laws barring extreme treatments for underage victims, and instead invited those minors to seek surgeries in California.
“In California we believe in equality and acceptance. We believe that no one should be prosecuted or persecuted for getting the care they need — including gender-affirming care,” Newsom said upon signing the bill into law. “Parents know what’s best for their kids, and they should be able to make decisions around the health of their children without fear. We must take a stand for parental choice.”
Except the bill undermines parental choice by empowering the state to strip custody from those who refuse to support their children’s demand for “gender-affirming care,” a euphemism used to describe something that is neither gender-affirming nor caring. Such procedures could range from puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to surgeries leaving a child’s genitals permanently altered. The bill extends California’s reach beyond its borders, enabling minors in other states to pursue treatment on the West Coast away from parental oversight.
Jay Richards, a policy expert at the Heritage Foundation, and Emilie Kao, a vice president and senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, broke down the components of the law in Newsweek.
“California courts will have the power to strip custody from parents, wherever they live, who doubt the wisdom of these experimental and irreversible procedures — if their child so much as steps foot in California,” the pair explained. “It would also allow California doctors to treat minors still in other states. With the advent of telehealth, a child could get a prescription for hormones from a California doctor while at home in Arkansas or in Florida.”
Under California’s new law, parents might not even know whether their children are pursuing these dangerous drugs and procedures. Senate Bill 107 mandates that doctors hide children’s medical information from parents if related to “gender identity,” even if requested by subpoena.
“[Senate Bill] 107 makes California akin to the Pied Piper, enticing minor children nationwide to leave their families and run away in pursuit of harmful drugs and sterilizing surgeries, all of which cause irreversible harm to the minds, bodies, and family relationships of America’s precious children,” they wrote. “Children experiencing gender confusion need the love, support, and guidance of their parents. They do not need to be taken from their parents and rushed down a pathway which leads to a lifetime of medicalization and sterilization.”
This summer, researchers at the Heritage Foundation found that “easing access to cross-sex treatments without parental consent significantly increases suicide rates.”
The findings contradict a key argument among proponents of aggressive “gender affirmation” who claim minors denied permanently life-altering procedures are more likely to kill themselves.
“There is a 14% increase in suicide rates among young people by 2020 in states that have a provision allowing minors to access care without parental consent relative to states that do not,” explained Heritage Senior Research Fellow Jay Greene. “Easier access to puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones by minors actually exacerbated suicide rates.”
Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.