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Tipsheet

One State Wants to Become a ‘Safe Haven’ for Trans Children

AP Photo/Armando Franca

A new bill advanced by the California State Assembly would make the state a “safe haven” for transgender children who are unable to recieve “gender-affirming” health care in other states. 

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The Assembly approved the measure “without debate,” 48-16 (via Associated Press):

The legislation is designed to provide legal refuge to parents from other states who risk having their transgender children taken away or being criminally prosecuted if they support their children’s access to gender-affirming procedures and other health care.

Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener sought the measure in response to actions in several Republican-dominated states including Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas. He said 19 other states have since introduced similar “trans refuge state” bills.

“Trans kids and their parents are being criminalized and used as political punching bags by right-wing zealots,” he said in a statement. “No one should ever have to worry about being separated from their child simply for allowing that child to be who they are.”

Townhall covered in June how a new study estimated that about 1.6 million people in the United States identify as “transgender.” This figure included about 300,000 13 to 17 year olds.

Earlier this year, Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott launched investigations into the parents of transgender minors for possible child abuse. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) told Townhall that sex-change procedures, puberty blockers and hormone therapy treatment are “abuse” under Texas law when performed on children. 

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“Family courts, family-law government agencies and the like must do their part to stop it,” Paxton told Townhall

A few weeks later, the Biden administration released guidance promoting “gender-affirming” care for minors, claiming that it is “ neither child maltreatment nor malpractice” and that “gender-affirming care should not be used to deny care or separate families working to make the best decisions for the children’s well-being.”

As Townhall reported this week, California is preparing to become a safe haven for abortion seekers as well. State lawmakers are preparing to spend up to $20 million to help pregnant women from other states travel to California to get abortions. This comes after several pro-life states passed trigger laws protecting the unborn after the Supreme Court overtiurned Roe v. Wade in June. As a result, many abortion clinics in red states have gone out of business, including Texas,  Mississippi and Louisiana.

Late last year, Townhall reported how California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said in an interview that he was working to boost the state’s “abortion infrastructure” to help women from out-of-state obtain abortions in California. This remark came shortly before the Supreme Court heard Dobbs oral arguments. 

Shortly after, the California Abortion Council, which is a coalition of over 40 abortion clinics and advocacy group, released a list of “recommendations” to expand the state’s access to abortion. 

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“It is imperative that California take the lead, live up to its proclamation as a ‘Reproductive Freedom State,’ and be ready to serve anyone who seeks abortion services in the state,” the recommendation list stated. "We are releasing the following Recommendations to Protect, Strengthen, and Expand Abortion Services in California – a list of legislative, executive, and administrative actions for state policymakers to implement in order to meet the needs of people seeking abortions.”

Included in the list of recommendations was increased funding to cover travel, lodging and childcare for women who are getting an abortion.

An analysis published by the Charlotte Lozier Institute last month showed that Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are outnumbered 14 to 1 by thousands of community-based health care providers and pregnancy centers that do not rely on abortion for revenue.

The analysis titled “Women Have Real Choices” showed that there are more than 5,300 federally funded health clinics that provide women’s health services and more than 2,700 pregnancy centers. This is compared to 585 Planned Parenthood clinics, as of July 2022. However, there is a disparity in the federal funding that is given to Planned Parenthood versus the thousands of health centers that do not provide abortions (via Charlott Lozier Institute): 

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Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) receive funds from the HRSA Health Center Program to provide primary care services to vulnerable and underserved populations on a sliding scale. Pregnancy centers are typically privately funded and focused on supporting pregnant women facing difficult circumstances with medical care and referrals, education, mentoring, and material support at virtually no cost to the client. Planned Parenthood meanwhile received over $600 million in government funding in 2019 and focuses on abortion, reaching its highest-ever number of over 350,000 U.S. abortions in 2019 – 96.4% of its pregnancy resolution services reported in its latest service data.

Pregnancy centers and FQHC sites are not dependent on abortion for revenue, and instead offer women real choices and holistic care.

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