California pro-family organizations are sounding the alarm over a proposed bill they say could give the power to state courts to take "temporary emergency jurisdiction" of children if they come to California for transgender drugs, surgery, or mental healthcare.
The California Family Council and the Pacific Justice Institute are warning about the bill known as SB 107, which calls these gender-altering treatments "gender-affirming health care." The measure passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee on June 28 even after hearing testimony from a teenager who had undergone transgender procedures and regretted them.
Chloe Cole, a 17-year-old girl who was born female but identified as male before changing course and returning to her biological gender, testified against the bill at the hearing.
"I was unknowingly, physically cutting off my true self from my body, irreversibly and painfully," Cole told the committee.
SB 107 was introduced by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-District 11) to fight against what he called "brutal attacks on transgender children" in states that have banned minors from receiving sterilizing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex-change surgeries. Some states have labeled these irreversible treatments as child abuse when they're performed on children who are too young to fully comprehend what they're doing.
As CBN News reported, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released a formal opinion in February explaining why he thinks trans drugs and mastectomies on healthy minors violate Texas child abuse statutes. Other states like Alabama, North Carolina, and Oklahoma have passed or have introduced laws to ban trans-treatments on minors, while other states are considering similar bans.
"This bill declares war on parents throughout the country who don't want their children sterilized because of their gender dysphoria, a condition that resolves itself in most cases after a child reaches adulthood," said Greg Burt, director of Capitol Engagement with the California Family Council. "Senator Wiener thinks he is making the state a safe haven for kids, but if passed, he will turn California into a threat to every family in the country."
Also under the proposed measure, courts could also be instructed to ignore the fact that a child has been kidnapped from the parent or parents with legal custody if the minor comes to California for gender transitioning.
"The bill (SB 107) would additionally prohibit a court from considering the taking or retention of a child from a person who has legal custody of the child, if the taking or retention was for obtaining gender-affirming health care or mental health care," according to the non-partisan, authoritative Legislative Counsel's Digest in its description of SB 107.
Matthew McReynolds, a senior attorney with the Pacific Justice Institute, believes the bill's language essentially provides an exception for certain instances of kidnapping.
SB 107 "takes a flying leap over the precipice," McReynolds explained. "Actually declaring that it will welcome and protect kidnappers—including parents who have been adjudicated as unstable and unfit to care for their children—as long as the adult absconding with the child says they are doing so to put the child into gender-hormone therapy or some other, Orwellian 'gender-affirming' care."
"SB 107 may be the most brazen assault on fundamental parental rights in the history of this state," he warned.
Other California attorneys have expressed similar concerns.
"SB 107 is a direct assault on parental rights and state rights which will cause great damage to children and families if enacted," said attorney Dean Broyles, president of the National Center for Law and Policy.
"It seeks to make California a sanctuary state for parents or guardians desiring to unilaterally facilitate the child abuse of minors struggling with gender dysphoria. It decimates the legal jurisdiction of other states, carving out an exception to well-established and universal legal prohibitions on kidnapping, by allowing children to be unlawfully brought to California, as long as the purpose is to seek 'gender-affirming care'," Broyles said.
The president and founder of Protect Our Kids, Mark Schneider, Esq., is also appalled at the bill's implications for parental rights.
"SB 107 would elevate the dangerous practice of 'gender-affirming health care' to a legal status never before granted to a state jurisdiction," Schneider explained. "It would pit state against state and parent against parent."
SB 107 is a bill CA legislators call a "gut-and-amend." That means SB 107 started out in the Senate as a completely different bill, that Senator Wiener decided to turn into a completely different bill once it got to the Assembly, according to the California Family Council.
The Assembly Appropriations Committee is scheduled to hear the bill on Aug. 3. If it passes the Assembly, it will have to go back to the Senate for approval.
CBN News has reached out to Sen. Scott Wiener's office for comment. We'll post the response here if we hear back.
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