Why Politicians Are Trying To Take Your Children
California legislation would punish parents who don't affirm gender dysphoria
California’s State Assembly passed legislation, AB957, last month, which would require that parents “affirm” that their children are the opposite sex under penalty of law. “If you have a seven-year-old,” said the bill’s sponsor, California state Assemblymember Lori Wilson, who is “able to articulate that they believe that they are not the same gender as they are biologically, then it should be affirmed.”
If the California Senate passes the legislation and Governor Gavin Newsom signs it into law, parents who refuse to affirm their child’s belief that they are the opposite sex could lose custody in a dispute.
Advocates for the legislation point out that the law would not make “gender affirmation” the only factor judges must consider in custody disputes. "It's not saying [affirmation] is the most important factor or determining factor,” said a spokesperson for Sen. Wilson. “It's one of many factors that the judge should consider while working out a custody agreement."
But the legislation would put the government firmly on the side of “gender-affirming care” at a moment when there is growing international debate over the ethics of such medical treatment.
Over the last several months, we have interviewed individuals who regret having taken drugs or surgically altering their genitals and chests in an attempt to become the opposite sex. One parent described her daughter removing her breasts and suffering complications from testosterone use that resulted in her becoming so disabled that she is now in a wheelchair and must use a permanent suprapubic catheter and urine bag.
Trans activists point to evidence of higher rates of psychiatric disorders and suicidal ideation among trans-identified people than the general population as justification for affirming gender dysphoria and for access to “medical transition.”
But there is no evidence that drugs and surgeries improve mental health or reduce the risk of suicide, and the rate of completed suicide among trans-identified youth, while elevated over their peers, remains low.
A 2019 study of adolescents who underwent medical transition found that those who suffered from poor mental health prior to embarking on the medical treatment pathway continued to have mental health issues after “transition.” The researchers concluded that medical “gender reassignment is not enough to improve functioning and relieve psychiatric comorbidities among adolescents with gender dysphoria.”
A Swedish study spanning more than 30 years found that transgender adults who had undergone surgical transition were 19 times more likely to die by suicide than the general population of the same age. The risk for females who had undergone surgical interventions was 40 times that of their peers.
A 2020 Dutch study found that “the suicide risk in transgender people is higher than in the general population and seems to occur during every stage of transitioning,” leading researchers to conclude that it “is important to have specific attention for suicide risk in the counseling of this population and in providing suicide prevention programs.”
And given the sterility, loss of sexual function, and increasing rate of regret among trans-identified individuals, trans activists are putting the health of children, many of whom are autistic or would grow up to be gay or lesbian if allowed to go through puberty, at risk.
As such, the California law is, like other “gender affirmation” laws being passed or considered in other states, an unprecedented assault on the rights of parents to decide what’s best for their children.
The political Left, for decades, has sought to protect children and other vulnerable people from the medical industry. It was Democrats and progressive public interest advocates who demanded that pharmaceutical companies list the side effects of drugs in their advertising. And it was the political Left more than the political Right that has been supported by trial lawyers suing doctors and medical caregivers for maltreatment.
Today, it’s doing the opposite. Why?