A California legislative committee is currently considering a bill that would make California a sanctuary state for children throughout the country otherwise forbidden to receive transgender treatment and surgery in their home states.
The bill, introduced by state Senator Scott Wiener back in March, would prohibit health care providers — including contractors and insurance companies — from cooperating in interstate legal battles regarding the transgender care of a child.
“This bill would prohibit a provider of health care, a health care service plan, or a contractor,” the bill reads, “from releasing medical information related to sensitive services or related to a person or entity allowing a child to receive gender-affirming health care in response to a criminal or civil action, including a foreign subpoena, based on another state’s law that authorizes a person to bring a civil or criminal action against a person or entity that allows a child to receive gender-affirming health care.”
The bill also expressly prohibits state law enforcement agencies from “intentionally” apprehending individuals wanted in other states for helping children receive transgender treatment.
Because such cases are so often intertwined in contentious child custody battles, the bill would also require law enforcement to disregard court orders issued in other states that authorize “a child to be removed from their parent or guardian based on that parent or guardian allowing their child to receive gender-affirming health care.”
In such cases, the bill claims that a state court would “take temporary jurisdiction because a child has been unable to obtain gender-affirming health care.”
Though the state Senate passed the bill earlier this year, the state Assembly has not, thus sending the bill back to committee, where it was discussed on Tuesday.
Back in 2017, then-Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that created “a nonbinary gender category on California birth certificates, drivers’ licenses, identity cards, and gender-change court orders” and made the application for gender identity changes much easier, according to the University of California San Francisco LGBT Resource Center. Now, the state legislature will determine whether to expand those gender identity changes to children who cross state lines to receive transgender care in California.
Not everyone is so enthusiastic about the idea. Chloe Cole, 17, testified to the committee that the so-called gender transition care she received to transition her into a male earlier in her teens instead left her scarred for life.
“I will never be able to breastfeed a child. I have blood clots in my urine. I am unable to fully empty my bladder. I do not yet know if I’m capable of carrying a child to full term,” Cole, who has since detransitioned, said.
She then pleaded with the committee not to pass the bill: “SB 107 is circumventing states’ laws that have needed safeguards in place so my story is not repeated. Children cannot consent.”