A bill passed through legislation despite 98% opposition, that will allow minor runaways to have health procedures without notifying parents.
Washington State Wants Minors
Washington State Senate Democrats passed a bill allowing minors to receive “gender-affirming” care and “maternity services” without parental consent, and was criticized for encouragement of runaway behavior and higher taxpayer expense.
Sanctuary State Senator Marko Liias’ sponsored Senate Bill 5599 permits shelters or host homes to house runaway minors and keep their location confidential from parents, given a “compelling reason.”
The legislation defines “compelling reason” as a situation where the youth is seeking protected health care services while in a host home or seeking placement in one. The bill doesn’t mandate any evidence or allegation of abuse in the household to keep the runaway’s location confidential.
Seeking “protected health care services” is enough to justify keeping the location hidden, enabling minors aged 13-18 to stay without parental knowledge for an indefinite period while seeking gender dysphoria and transitioning services.
Democrats passed legislation in 2019 allowing minors to receive gender-affirming care without parental consent; however, the minors were still under parental supervision.
Details of the Bill
The bill’s summary specifies that “protected health care services” refer to gender-affirming treatment and reproductive healthcare services that are legal in Washington.
Gender-affirming treatment involves health services or products that validate and support an individual’s gender identity, including medical or surgical procedures, social, psychological, and behavioral interventions.
The care services includes assessments and treatments for gender dysphoria, gender-affirming hormone therapy, and gender-affirming surgical procedures – all without parental consent.
The bill designates up to $7.5 million of Washington state taxpayers’ funds to the Office of Homeless Youth Prevention and Protection to offer grants to organizations for covering the expenses of “protected health care services.”
Included under the “protected health care services” in the bill are “maternity services.”
The bill enables any teenager to run away to a youth shelter, claiming they are seeking protected health care services and be hidden from their parents.
Pushback From…Almost Everyone
Senate Republican Leader John Braun said in a statement, “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. It’s also wrong how this bill would also apply to children from other states who may travel thousands of miles for services not available to them at home. Unless there is reason to suspect parental abuse or harm, parents deserve to know where their teenagers are.”
“Democrats have claimed many times that the brains of minors are not fully developed until age 22,” he continued. “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 differs 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.”
Democrats passed the legislation despite over 4,700 people, 98 percent in opposition, testifying on the bill.
The bill still has to pass through the state’s House, which is a majority Democrat, before it can head to Governor Jay Inslee’s desk.
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