Washington bill would allow transgender medical procedures for minors without parental consent

Protesters the Texas Capitol in 2021 rally against legislation limiting the rights of...
Protesters the Texas Capitol in 2021 rally against legislation limiting the rights of transgender Texans.(Evan L'Roy/The Texas Tribune)
Published: Apr. 17, 2023 at 3:48 PM PDT
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OLYMPIA, Wash. (KPTV) - A Washington state law that would remove parents’ ability to intervene in their children’s medical care in some circumstances cleared the House, paving the road for Gov. Jay Inslee to approve it.

“An act relating to supporting youth,” or Senate Bill 5599, allows host homes for runaway youth “to house youth without parental permission.” Furthermore, the host homes do not need to notify parents about where their kids are or if they are getting medical interventions “if there is a compelling reason not to, which includes a youth seeking protected health services.”

The “protected health care services” included “gender-affirming care,” which for minors arbitrarily included anything prescribed by a doctor to treat dysphoria, the bill obtained by FOX 13 Seattle said.

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“Gender affirming treatment can be prescribed to two-spirit, transgender, nonbinary, and other gender diverse individuals,” the bill stated.

For minors, “affirming care” typically included puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries. It was unclear which services would be approved under the bill.

Shelters can call the Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) instead of contacting parents.

Another “compelling reason” not to notify parents about kids staying in a host home was “circumstances that indicate notifying the parent or legal guardian will subject the minor to abuse or neglect.”

The bill was criticized by opponents for being “child abuse.”

The opposition said, according to the bill’s text, “A parents job is to protect their child, this bill strips parents of that ability… Gender is in your imagination. This bill legalizes the kidnapping of children, allows for the harboring of minors, and segregates us from the union.”

After it passed the house, Democratic State Rep. Tana Senn, who supported the bill, said, “I am saying tonight to them that I see you, that I affirm you, that I hear you, that I love you,” according to Townhall.

The law, according to State Senate Republican Leader John Braun, violates the rights of parents.

“The only thing [the bill] would do is cause harm by driving a wedge between vulnerable kids and their parents, at a time when a teen lacks the perception and judgment to make critical life-altering decisions,” Braun said. “A parent may not even know why the child ran away and could involve law enforcement or other groups in a desperate search… all the while going through an unnecessary emotional nightmare, imagining the worst about what might have happened.”

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Other states, including as California, are exploring laws that would limit the rights of parents. Some opponents of the bill have accused them of “state-sanctioned kidnapping.”

California filed a bill in March that allows adolescents to be admitted to a group home without parental agreement with clearance from school counselors. The bill is currently being considered in the State Senate.

A counselor who testified against the bill said, “It is apparent that one result of this bill will be the removal of trans-identified children from the family home.”

“In the dystopian nightmare we are in, if a parent doesn’t use the child’s chosen pronoun or name, they are labeled dangerous,” Pamela Garfield-Jaeger said in her testimony, according to Daily Signal.