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Over the past decade and a half, a silent pandemic has swept through America’s youth: gender dysphoria and a radical medical experiment presented as its appropriate treatment. California is now on the verge of becoming a superspreader – and confused children and their parents across the country will be the victims.
Gender dysphoria is a feeling of alienation between one’s internal sense of “gender” and one’s biological sex. Such feelings tend to disappear in 80-95% of children if they are allowed to go through puberty unhindered. But now many children are being fast-tracked into permanent body modifications called “gender-affirming care.”
This epidemic of mind and spirit is not being spread by contact or close quarters, but by social media “influencers” and ideologues who have captured schools, medical groups and state legislatures. . In many states, teachers and government officials will promote a child’s claimed “gender identity” – regardless of that child’s gender – even behind the parents’ backs.
This treatment often begins with modified nouns and pronouns. He may then move on to experimental puberty blockers, then cross-sex hormones and sterilizing surgeries. Double mastectomies, castrations and hysterectomies are just the beginning of this medical parade of horrible things.
These medications and surgeries can cause severe pain; permanent sexual dysfunction; long-term damage to bones, heart and blood circulation; and sterility. And there is no evidence that they improve children’s mental and emotional health.
Rather than face these facts squarely, some states, like California, have now come so far that parents can lose custody of their daughters and sons for resisting this effort to reverse natural puberty.
Instead of fighting this contagion, the California legislator wants to extend it to all states. Senate Bill 107 now sits on Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk. If it becomes law, California courts will have the power to remove custody from parents, wherever they live, who doubt the wisdom of these experimental and irreversible procedures – if their child sets foot in California.
The first victims of this policy are of course the children. But it is also a blatant attack on the fundamental rights of parents, which include the right to direct the mental and physical health care of their child.
Bill requires doctors to withhold a child’s medical information from parents if it’s related to ‘gender identity’ medications and procedures, even if that information is requested under a subpoena issued by a court.
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 Florida.
But the Arkansas legislature passed a law to protect minors from the danger of cross-sex hormones. And the Florida Department of Health found that these procedures did not meet the high standards we expect of medical care.
This digital workaround violates both parental rights and state authority. The “full faith and credit” clause of the US Constitution requires states to defer to each other’s laws and jurisdictions. California thumbs its nose at the authority and jurisdiction of other states.
Imagine the parental nightmares this California bill would trigger. A mother in Texas who has sole custody of her daughter could have her custody removed by a California court that sides with an estranged father who takes the girl to California to get puberty blockers. No family is off limits and no court decision is safe, because California has decided that its courts – not those of the family’s home state – should ultimately decide whether parents are fit to raise their child.
Worse still, California attracts minors who believe they were born in the wrong body to abandon their families.
The state legislature knew what it was doing. When SB107 was argued, Californian Chloe Cole testified against it. She came down with an acute case of gender dysphoria when she was 12. She found out the hard way that promises of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and a double mastectomy at age 15 were lies.
The Californian assembly did not listen to Chloé. Nor has he taken into account the testimony of the growing army of doctors and scientists, as well as medical authorities in the United Kingdom, Sweden and Finland, who question the value and ethics of ” gender-affirming care”.
Parents from across the country are joining this army. Many have urged Governor Newsom will veto the bill before it takes effect Oct. 1. If he doesn’t, Americans must stand up for the safety and well-being of their children. This means working to preserve the basic rights of parents and the authority of their own states to protect those rights.
Jay Richards is director of the DeVos Center for Life, Family and Religion at The Heritage Foundation. Emilie Kao is Vice President and Senior Counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.