Update: Gov. Jay Inslee, the Democratic governor of Washington state, has signed into law Senate Bill 5599. According to the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Marko Liias, a Democrat, SB 5599 “allows licensed shelters to contact the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) in lieu of parents in certain additional instances, like when a young person is seeking reproductive health services or gender-affirming care.” So in other words: If your minor child is interested in gender transition or having an abortion, and you disagree, the state would now swoop in and become the parental figure.

Once upon a time, it was a tragedy to become an orphan. 

Now, at least in two deep blue states, it’s in. 

In Washington state, both the House and Senate have passed a bill that would allow the state Department of Children, Youth, and Families, not the parents, to be the contacts if a child who runs away is trying to get an abortion or transgender medical procedures. The bill is currently on Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk. 

In California, a bill that would let 12-year-olds leave home if a mental health professional OKs it, no parental permission required, has passed in the state Assembly and is now winding its way through the state Senate. 

Is this the future?  

To be clear, both states currently have legal pathways to help children who have abusive parents. These bills aren’t about situations where it is genuinely dangerous for a child to stay with his parents. As Washington state Rep. Cyndy Jacobsen, a Republican, noted in a floor speech earlier this month, “We have procedures for [Department of Children, Youth, and Families] if children are abused or neglected or their parents kick them out.”  

No, what’s going on here isn’t about protecting kids. It’s about making sure that any child who wants an abortion or transgender medical procedures isn’t prevented by their parents. 

Leftists’ New Dream 

For today’s leftists, the importance of gender ideology and abortion on demand apparently trumps the value of parents. As activist Kaley Triller tweets about the Washington bill, “SB 5599 basically gives the state the right to kidnap your kid if you don’t play along with the gender cult.” 

Is this really where blue states want to go? Is there no longer bipartisan consensus that parents, not bureaucrats, should be in charge of children?  

How quickly the leftist imagination has moved. 

Back in 2012, the Obama campaign set off a firestorm with its “Life of Julia” slideshow, which showed a woman depending on government welfare from childhood to retirement.  

“Julia’s entire life is defined by her interactions with the state. Government is everywhere and each step of her life is tied to a government program,” wrote former Education Secretary William Bennett for CNN. 

“Notably absent in her story is any relationship with a husband, family, church or community, except a ‘community’ garden where she works post-retirement. Instead, the state has taken their place and is her primary relationship.” 

But in a quaint touch—how different the U.S. was in 2012—Julia doesn’t ever seem to have about losing custody of her son because she has hesitations about allowing him to pursue medical treatment involving drugs with significant side effects and/or surgeries.  

Back then, the leftist dream was merely financial support for all, even if the cost was a crumbling of our personal relationships (and the health of our economy).  

Now the leftist dream includes children being free to have abortions and pursue experimental medicine, even at the cost of severing their ties with the people who likely love them most: their parents. It’s not just about an economic government parent; it’s about the government actually being the parent.

Not Following the ‘Science’ 

What is with this obsession about allowing minor children to make permanent, life-altering medical decisions? 

While Democrats like to pretend they’re the party of “science,” this isn’t about some medical consensus on transgenderism. As Dr. Miriam Grossman, a child psychiatrist and author, told The Daily Signal in a podcast interview last year, much of today’s medical procedures for children who struggle with gender identity is based on a study out of the Netherlands that provided various gender transition “treatments” to children, including puberty blockers, hormones, and surgery.

Yet American activists pick and choose how they view that study. First of all, that study involved 55 children, all of whom had struggled with gender dysphoria for a significant time period. Secondly, those children had no other mental health issues.  

Meanwhile, in Europe, instead of relentless pushing of “gender-affirming care”—a term that obfuscates the brutal realities of “treatment” that can sterilize you for life and involve the same drug cancer patients use—there is now caution. 

“In the past few years, European health authorities conducted systematic reviews of evidence for the benefits and risks of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. The findings from these reviews—that the certainty of benefits is very low—guided the hand of policymakers there to restrict access to hormones,” Leor Sapir writes in City Journal. 

“Currently, minors in these countries can access puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones only if they meet strict eligibility requirements as set out in the Dutch protocol and only in the context of a tightly controlled research setting,” Sapir, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, adds. 

So to recap: In Europe, they’re putting more guardrails on this medical treatment for kids, while in America, blue states are making it so that kids can run away from their parents and pursue these transgender treatments. 

Which position is extreme again?  

Some of these treatments are irreversible. They also have potentially horrific side effects. “From studies of adults we know that the risks of cross-sex hormones include, but are not limited to, cardiac disease, high blood pressure, blood clots, strokes, diabetes, and cancers,” wrote Dr. Michelle Cretella, then-executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, in a 2017 article for The Daily Signal.  

Detransitioners Show Dangers of Transgender Treatment as Minor 

There’s also a growing population of “detransitioners,” people who transitioned genders and then regretted it. Their stories are powerful—and they often speak about making decisions at a young age they now regret.  

Consider Keira Bell, a British young woman, who wrote about her gender transition regrets in 2021 for Persuasion: “Before beginning on testosterone, I was asked if I wanted children, or if I wanted to consider freezing my eggs because of the possibility that transition would make me infertile. As a teenager, I couldn’t imagine having kids, and the procedure wouldn’t have been covered by the NHS [National Health Service]. I said I was fine if I couldn’t, and I didn’t need to freeze my eggs.” 

But she felt differently later in life.  “But now as a young adult, I see that I didn’t truly understand back then the implications of infertility. Having children is a basic right, and I don’t know if that has been taken from me,” she writes. 

Who do you want advising kids like Keira as they consider these choices—their parents or government bureaucrats?  

This is a whole new front from the Left in the war on the family—and it’s poised to wreck both parents’ and children’s lives. 

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