SB 5599, Supporting youth and young adults seeking protected health care services, is intended to “give meaningful choices to young people who may not have supportive families at home so they do not end up on the street, but instead have shelter options when seeking this ‘life-saving’ care.” However, critics are concerned that the bill will drive a wedge between parents and their child right at the point when open communication is vital.
“If it becomes law, [SB 5599] would disenfranchise loving parents who deserve to have a say in the care of their teenage children,” said Senate Republican Leader John Braun in a press release. “Children between the ages of 13 and 18 can already access these same health and mental health services under Washington law, without their parents’ permission. The only thing SB 5599 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.”
Under current law, licensed shelters must notify parents if a child comes into their care, unless there is a compelling reason to keep the child’s whereabouts a secret. SB 5599 allows shelters to contact the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) instead of the parents should the child be seeking an experimental sex change or reproductive services.
“We know that young people experiencing homelessness are exposed to dangerous and harmful outcomes. That is why we must take every step we can to ensure their safety,” the bill’s sponsor Sen. Marco Liias said in a statement. “This legislation ensures that our trans youth have safe options and access to secure, stable shelter when they may not be welcome at home.”
However, there is mounting evidence that young people who are allowed to undergo experimental sex change procedures while still in a crucial stage of identity development are also being exposed to dangerous and harmful outcomes.
Numerous malpractice lawsuits are now underway filed by young people who deeply regret the irreversible damage done to their bodies by so-called “gender-affirming care,” and two recent studies show that the rate of detransition is sharply increasing.
Experts are also calling for parental involvement in every step of the transition process.
Dr. Erica Anderson, a trans-identified male clinician with decades of experience treating gender dysphoric youth, recently stated that parents should be involved in the every step of the process given that the reasons young people adopt a transgender identity are complex and possibly socially influenced or due to pre-existing mental health issues, and “especially given the somewhat complicated risk-benefit calculus in this context and the limited knowledge about long-term effects and outcomes.”
“The need for SB 5599 comes as states across the country introduce and pass anti-LGBTQ legislation,” reads the press release. “According to the ACLU, 452 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced across 45 states and 29 bills have passed in 14 different states.”
The “anti-LGBTQ” bills which the Democrats are referring to are bills that prohibit doctors from performing experimental sex changes on minors, as well as those that protect the rights of women and girls to the safety and protection of female-only spaces. Other legislation seeks to remove books with pornographic content from school library shelves, as well as ban drag shows in public places where minors are present.
According to Sen. Braun, when “SB 5599 received a hearing before the Senate Human Services Committee on Feb. 6, more than 4,700 people signed in with an opinion on the bill – and 98% were opposed, including parents from the LGBTQ community.”
“Democrats have claimed many times that the brains of minors are not fully developed until age 22. Right now, they are sponsoring a juvenile offender sentencing bill [Senate Bill 5475] based on ‘the expansive body of scientific research on brain development, which shows that adolescents’ perception, judgment, and decision-making skills differ significantly from that of adults. "It’s revealing how brain research matters to them when juveniles break the law, but not when they seek life-altering, potentially irreversible health care,” concluded Braun.
California currently has a similar bill in the works that would allow “gender-affirming” therapists to place gender-confused children into state residential facilities without prior accusations of parental abuse.
While testifying against AB 665, Erin Friday, co-founder of parent group Our Duty, called the bill “state-sanctioned kidnapping.”
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