A proposed law in Oregon would allow children beginning at age 15 to obtain hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery without parental consent or notification, according to a prominent ethicist.
The bill, HB 2002, states that a “minor 15 years of age or older may give consent, without the consent of a parent or guardian of the minor, to … hospital care, medical or surgical diagnosis or treatment by a physician licensed by the Oregon Medical Board.”
The bill, which has 35 total sponsors in the Oregon House and Senate, includes language specifically protecting “gender-affirming treatment,” which it defines as a “procedure, service, drug, device or product that a physical or behavioral health care provider prescribes to treat an individual for incongruence between the individual’s gender identity and the individual’s sex assignment at birth.”
HB 2002 is sponsored by Reps. Travis Nelson and Andrea Valderrama, and Sens. Kate Lieber and Elizabeth Steiner. All four are Democrats.
“Political progressives want to divorce children from their parents regarding crucial issues such as sex, abortion, and transgenderism,” ethicist Wesley J. Smith wrote at NationalReview.com. “Pending legislation from the hard-left state of Oregon would do just that.”
The bill also allows children of any age to obtain an abortion without parental consent, Smith said.
Further, the bill would require the state-run Oregon Health Authority to pay for a minor’s hormone therapy or gender reassignment surgery.
“The Oregon Health Authority or a coordinated care organization may not … deny or limit gender-affirming treatment that is medically necessary as determined by the physical or behavioral health care provider who prescribes the treatment,” the bill says.
Smith said the proposed law infringes on parental rights.
“HB 2002 is blatant cultural imperialism,” Smith wrote. “No wonder some conservative eastern counties want to secede from Oregon to join Idaho.”
Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.