Washington State House Passes Bill on Medical Transgender Interventions for Minors

The Washington State House of Representatives has passed a bill that would enable minors to receive certain medical interventions, including gender-affirming care, without parental consent, Fox News reports.

Senate Bill 5599, also known as “An act relating to supporting youth,” is now on its way to be signed by Democrat Governor Jay Inslee.

Under the bill, host homes for runaway youth can house minors without their parents’ permission.

Additionally, these homes are not required to inform parents about the whereabouts of their children or any medical interventions they may receive, provided there is a “compelling reason” not to do so.

The bill specifically mentions “a youth seeking protected health services” as one such reason.

“Protected health care services” in the bill encompass “gender-affirming care,” which is defined as any treatment prescribed by a doctor for addressing dysphoria.

The legislation states that gender-affirming care can be prescribed to “two-spirit, transgender, nonbinary, and other gender diverse individuals.”

Typical treatments for minors include puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries, although the bill does not explicitly state which services would be approved, Fox notes.

Instead of reaching out to parents, host homes can contact the Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) as an alternative.

Another “compelling reason” for not informing parents about their children staying in host homes is if doing so would put the minors at risk of “abuse or neglect.”

Critics of the bill have labeled it as “child abuse,” arguing that it undermines parents’ ability to protect their children.

According to the bill’s text, opponents claim that “Gender is in your imagination. This bill legalizes the kidnapping of children, allows for the harboring of minors, and segregates us from the union.”

State Senate Republican Leader John Braun criticized the bill for eroding parents’ rights, saying, “The only thing [the bill] would do is cause harm by driving a wedge between vulnerable kids and their parents, at a time when a teen lacks the perception and judgment to make critical life-altering decisions.”

“A parent may not even know why the child ran away and could involve law enforcement or other groups in a desperate search… all the while going through an unnecessary emotional nightmare, imagining the worst about what might have happened.”