By Michael Tennant
California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday signed into law a bill giving his state custody over any child who enters its borders, even electronically, in search of sex-change treatments, regardless of the wishes of the child’s parents.
The “gender-affirming health care” law, SB-107, gives California courts “temporary emergency custody” over any child who travels to the Golden State to obtain hormones, drugs, surgery, or other medical interventions to give the child the appearance of the opposite sex. It also protects any adults who accompany the child.
The law prohibits California courts from enforcing out-of-state subpoenas demanding information from healthcare providers about sex-change treatments given to minors over whom those states have jurisdiction.
In addition, it bars law enforcement from arresting or extraditing anyone “pursuant to an out-of-state arrest warrant for violation of another state’s law against providing, receiving, or allowing a child to receive gender-affirming health care and gender-affirming mental health care in this state, if that care is lawful under the laws of this state, to the fullest extent permitted by federal law.”
In other words, Newsom has “awarded himself custody of every child struggling with gender dysphoria, elected himself governor of every state to thwart their own laws that might protect children from harmful and sterilizing gender ‘transitions,’ and dared the entire nation to do anything about it,” Craig DeRoche, CEO and president of the Family Policy Alliance, said in a statement.
The horrific potential consequences of this new law cannot be overstated.
While “the primary victims of this policy … are the children,” it is “also an egregious attack on parents’ fundamental rights,” the Heritage Foundation’s Jay Richards and the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Emilie Kao wrote in a joint opinion piece in Newsweek:
Imagine the parental nightmares this California bill would unleash. A mother in Texas who has sole custody of her daughter could find her custody stripped by a California court who sides with an estranged father who takes the daughter 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 be the final deciders of whether parents are fit to raise their child.
Worse, California is luring minors who believe they were born in the wrong body to abandon their families.
They further note that SB-107 “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 in Florida” regardless of those states’ relevant statutes — and the parents, if they even knew about it, would have no legal recourse.
Yet Newsom had the gall to claim that the law he was signing was about “parental choice” in the face of other states’ laws restricting gender-transition treatments for minors. “Parents know what’s best for their kids,” he said, “and they should be able to make decisions around the health of their children without fear.”
SB-107, however, takes such decisions out of parents’ hands and places them squarely in the hands of minors (and allied adults). Individuals the state of California believes are unfit to drive a car, vote, or buy cigarettes are, it seems, perfectly capable of making life-altering medical decisions — decisions that Richards and Kao point out “can cause severe pain; permanent sexual dysfunction; long-term damage to bones, heart, and blood circulation; and sterility. And there’s no good evidence that they improve kids’ mental and emotional health.” On the contrary, such interventions may well make matters worse.
In short, California’s new law is “political abuse of science,” in the words of The New American’s David Kelly.
The good news is that SB-107 is unlikely to stand up to legal challenges. As Kelly and others have observed, its disregard for other states’ statutes runs directly counter to the Constitution’s “full faith and credit” clause. One state simply cannot override another state’s duly passed laws, no matter how unjust officials of the former state believe them to be.
Whether SB-107 is struck down or not, it is yet another step in the radical Left’s ongoing war on families, faith, and facts.