A new bill being pushed by Virginia Democrats would allow minors access to medical procedures without requiring parental consent, which one medical professional calls “a slippery slope that can have unintended consequences.”
At the beginning of the new legislative session, five Democratic delegates introduced a bill that seeks to allow 16-year-olds to access “medical care,” a move that could open the door to more gender reassignment surgery and abortions among America’s youth.
The bill reads that any individual, as young as 16 years old, should be deemed an adult and granted access to medical care without parental consent.
“Any minor 16 years of age or older who is determined by a health care provider to be mature and capable of giving informed consent shall be deemed an adult for the purpose of giving consent to consultation, diagnosis, and treatment of a mental or emotional disorder by a health care provider or clinic,” the bill reads.
If the bill were to pass, medical professionals would be allowed to withhold medical records from a parent if their stance would “deter the minor from seeking care.”
The bill also specifies that any minor should be allowed to consent to their own “medical services” in the case of birth control or pregnancy.
“Extending medical freedoms to minors is a slippery slope that can have unintended consequences,” Dr. Nicole Saphier, Fox News medical contributor, said in a statement stressing the negative outcomes that could result from the bill. “The reasons provisions have been put in place limiting responsibilities in kids is because their ability to make important decisions and overall thought processes have not been fully developed.”
As detransitioning is becoming more common among America’s youth, there are growing concerns over gender reassignment surgery on minors as lawmakers are seeking to strip parents of their involvement to their child’s medical care.
The bill does not specifically state gender reassignment surgery as an available option to minors, but suggests a child would be allowed to make their own medical decisions, opening up the door to such procedures.
Boston Children’s Hospital is one of the hospitals that currently offers gender reassignment surgery to minors. “The Center for Gender Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital offers gender affirmation surgery services to eligible adolescents and young adults who are ready to take this step,” their website reads in promotion of sex change surgeries for minors.
In October, Virginia Delegate Elizabeth Guzman told WJLA that at the start of the new legislative session, she would introduce a bill that would go as far as penalizing parents who do not affirm their LGBT children with a misdemeanor or felony charge.
The proposal, which received major backlash from parents nationwide, sought to expand the state’s definition of child abuse and neglect to include parents who do not affirm their LGBT children’s gender identity or sexual orientation.