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Planned Parenthood Sponsors Bill to Force Insurance Companies to Keep Secrets from Parents

One of Planned Parenthood’s priority bills in California this year requires health insurance companies to hide from parents “sensitive” medical procedures given to their adult and minor children. These “sensitive” services, as defined by SB 1004, include abortions; drug abuse and mental health treatment; and under certain circumstanced transgender hormones and sex change operations.  

A fact-sheet from bill author Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, (D) Santa Barbara, states the legislation is necessary to protect young adults, who remain on their parent’s health insurance until age 26, from being shamed or hurt by the policyholder who disagrees with their healthcare choices. Yet, this bill not only hides the medical services used by young adults from their parents, but according to the text of SB 1004, it also hides services for “a minor who can consent to a health care service without the consent of a parent or legal guardian… .”

“Government bureaucrats should not be helping Planned Parenthood undermine parents’ rights to guide and oversee the healthcare of their children,” said California Family Council President Jonathan Keller. “Transparency matters. The owner of an insurance policy deserves to know what medical procedures they are paying for. If an adult under 26 wants insurance privacy, they can and should purchase their own insurance.”

According to the California Healthcare Foundation, California law permits minors of various ages to consent to the following medical procedures and treatment: abortion; drug­ and alcohol ­related problems; HIV/AIDS; certain infectious, contagious, or communicable diseases, including sexually transmitted diseases; mental health drugs and counseling; pregnancy and birth control; and sexual assault. Under SB 1004, insurance companies would be criminally charged if they let parents know their health insurance policy was paying for these procedures for their minor children. 

Not included in this minor medical procedure consent list is what SB 1004 defines as “transgender health, including gender-affirming care.” Planned Parenthood clinics around California have started to aggressively promote “Transgender Hormone Services,” or “Gender Affirming Care,” which include puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones; drugs that will permanently sterilize children. So far, Planned Parenthood says on its website that minors must get parental approval before receiving transgender hormone services. But a senior attorney with the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) believes a 23-year-old California Supreme Court decision could be used to justify letting minors consent to transgender drugs without parental approval. 

PJI Senior Attorney Kevin Snider pointed to American Academy of Pediatrics v. Lundgren, a 1997 California Supreme Court decision he said, “emasculated parental rights… leaving moms and dads impotent to act as parents.” Snider explained how this case overturned a law requiring parental notification before a minor can have an abortion. The State’s high court found “that minors have informational and autonomy privacy in terms of intimate personal decisions, which trumps the rights of parents.  It is doubtful that the ruling would not extend to minors ingesting cross-sex hormones,” Snider said.

Although Planned Parenthood is not publically advertising the use of transgender hormones on minors without parent approval, the California Teacher’s Association (CTA) is headed in that direction. According to a recent Epoch Times article, the CTA recently changed its policy for school-based health clinics stating “transgender and non-binary youth” aren’t being treated equitably with other kids when it comes to the permission required to take hormones.

The new policy reads: “CTA believes comprehensive school based health care clinics are needed to bring caring and responsive services to young people. The clinics shall provide cisgender, transgender and non-binary youth equal and confidential access to decision-making rights for students and their families.”

The Epoch Times when on to write: The rationale behind this policy change was printed in a CTA Report of Board of Directors, Committees, and Items of New Business in June 2019.

The rationale states: “Current interpretation of California state law does not allow trans students to begin gender identity confirming hormone therapy without the consent of both legal guardians, however it does allow for cis minors to receive hormones (e.g. birth control) without the barrier of parental permission.

“This inequity of decision-making forces some children to go through the wrong puberty and can negatively impact the child’s mental health.”

Last December, Planned Parenthood announced plans to set up health centers within 50 high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District to directly provide students with their array of services. If SB 1004 passes, services can be paid for by a student’s health insurance without the parent ever knowing about it.

SB 1004 has not yet been assigned to a Senate committee for a hearing, and will not be assigned a hearing until the Senate returns to session in May. 

Action Steps

Call Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson’s office and respectfully ask her to pull SB 1004 from consideration. This bill undermines the rights of parents to oversee the medical decisions of their own children.

California Family Council

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