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Did You Hear About the Latest Moral Outrage from California?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

With so much happening in the news every day, from the congressional hearings on our withdrawal from Afghanistan to the budget crisis and more, it’s easy to overlook some of the truly horrendous things taking place in our nation. But what California’s Governor Newsom recently signed into law cannot be overlooked. It is nothing less than a frontal assault on parental rights, also hurting the very children it claims to protect.


Although there were two controversial bills Gov. Newsom signed last week, we’ll focus here on AB 1184. 

As reported by California Family Council, this bill “prohibits insurance companies from revealing to the policyholder the ‘sensitive’ services of anyone on their policy, including minor children, even though the policy owner is financially responsible for the services.  These ‘sensitive’ services include abortions, sexual assault treatment, drug abuse and mental health treatment, cross-sex hormones, puberty blockers, and sex-change operations. In California, minors can consent to all of these sensitive treatments, except for sex-change surgeries, after the age of 12 under certain conditions, and consent to abortions at any age.” 

Perhaps you want to read that again? Not a word is exaggerated or misreported. This is exactly what this bill entails. Yet for Newsom and other California leftists, this is a cause for celebration

Talk about turning the world upside down. Talk about calling good evil and evil good. Talk about undermining families.

But let’s not think in abstract terms. Let’s be concrete and specific.

Not only can your 13-year-old child make radical, life-altering decisions. such as having an abortion, without your knowledge or consent. That would be bad enough. But your child can use your family insurance policy to pay for that abortion, and when your insurance statement comes, there will be no explanation of services. 


In fact, your insurance provider will be prohibited from disclosing to you what your own child has done and what your policy has covered. And this is now the law in California. 

Should we feel anything less than outrage? And who gave the government such intrusive, potentially destructive powers?

Your minor child can actually choose to get treated with cross-sex hormones or puberty blockers, drugs which can have disastrous lifelong consequences, without possibly being able to understand the implications of what they’re doing, and by law, you cannot find out about it.

Your child doesn’t have to tell you. The doctors don’t have to tell you. And your insurers don’t have to tell you. 

To say it again, this is an absolutely indefensible outrage.

Listen to the words of Grace Lidinsky-Smith, writing in Newsweek June 25. “In my early 20s,” she says, “I became depressed and gender dysphoric after years of obsessing over identity issues. Finally, I thought I saw my route forward: the total transformation of medical transition, to live as a man.”

And note carefully: she was in her early 20s when she made these fateful decisions, not a teenager, let alone a 12-year-old.

She continues, “I had the most supportive possible environment for transitioning: easy access to hormones, an affirming community and insurance coverage. What I didn't have was a therapist who could help me scrutinize the underlying issues I had before I undertook serious medical decisions. Instead, I was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and given the green light to start transition by my doctor on the first visit.”


Stories like this are all too common these days, leading to a growing number of “detransitioners” and a growing pushback against the rush to “transition” young people.

Lidinsky-Smith then describes the process: “I started my transformation with cross-sex hormones injections. Four months later, I had my breasts removed in the masculinizing surgical procedure known as ‘top surgery.’ The day I got my first testosterone shot, I wept with joy. I thought I had discovered my path to self-actualization as a transgender man.

“One year later, I would be curled in my bed, clutching my double-mastectomy scars and sobbing with regret.”

And, she says candidly, “I wondered desperately how I could have been so wrong about something so important. I knew people who were very happy with their changes. But it all went wrong for me.

“My gender dysphoria, which I had taken as proof that I was truly meant to live as male, turned out to stem from other mental health issues. My change had been a brutal mistake, and I would have to live with the consequences—numb scars, no breasts, a deepened voice—for the rest of my life.”

Tragically, she is now one of many young women with similar stories. (Many young men have their horror stories too.)


Yet now, in California, she could have embarked on this self-destructive journey as a young minor, starting with puberty blockers and/or cross-sex hormones, completely cutting her parents out of the process, with the law on her side. And when her parents began to wonder what was happening to their daughter, there was no way they could find out – by law.

And if she decided to have her breasts removed – irreversibly – at the age of 19, California, with the help of your own insurance company, would have her covered. Parents, you could be in for a very big surprise one day!

And let’s not forget about other “sensitive” services, such as “sexual assault treatment, drug abuse and mental health treatment.”

Here, too, it is utterly outrageous for parents to be locked out of such critical situations, yet it is now the law, and Gov. Newsom and his colleagues are celebrating.

I urge every parent in California to get as involved in your children’s lives as you possibly can – I mean that in the most positive, helpful, and healthy ways, not in oppressive and overbearing ways. 

I encourage you to cultivate honesty and transparency. To make your kids feel safer with you than with any of their peers or other elders. And to work tirelessly until this legislation is overthrown.


The light can still drive out the darkness.

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