Planned Parenthood of California has made the passing of a bill that would block parents from knowing if their child had an abortion or received transgender hormone treatments one of their legislative priorities for this year.
SB 1004, sponsored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, would revise “California’s existing patient protections to ensure that information about any sensitive services, as defined, is not sent to a third party or a policyholder not authorized to receive it.”
The bill expands the definition of “sensitive services” to include “services related to mental health, reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, substance abuse disorders, transgender health including gender-affirming care, and intimate partner violence.”
Planned Parenthood of California frames its support for the bill as providing patients with greater confidentiality. In explaining their support, they say that, “When a patient accesses health care for a sensitive service, including sexual and reproductive health care, confidentiality is of the utmost importance.” Then, they point out that communication from health insurance companies is not usually confidential and many seeking these services are not the "main policyholder.” They continue, “This bill will expand upon California’s existing protections to ensure that information about any sensitive services they receive is not sent to a third party they do not want to receive it, like an abusive spouse or their parents.”
The California Family Council said the bill “undermines the rights of parents to oversee the medical decisions of their own children” and pointed out that the bill does not specify the precise medical procedures that it would keep confidential from parents.
In order to understand which procedures and treatments could be in play, they point to Planned Parenthood clinics in California that “have started to aggressively promote … puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones; drugs that will permanently sterilize children.” They currently require parental approval before administering these services, but Pacific Justice Institute Senior Attorney Kevin Snider pointed to a 1997 California Supreme Court decision which found that “minors have informational and autonomy privacy in terms of intimate personal decisions, which trumps the rights of parents” to say that “It is doubtful that the ruling would not extend to minors ingesting cross-sex hormones.”
California Family Council President Jonathan Keller voiced his strong objection to the bill, saying that, “Government bureaucrats should not be helping Planned Parenthood undermine parents’ rights to guide and oversee the healthcare of their children.” He went on to say that, “Transparency matters. The owner of an insurance policy deserves to know what medical procedures they are paying for.”
SB 1004 hasn’t been assigned to a Senate committee and won’t be until the Senate assembles for its May session. In the meantime, the California Family Council is calling for concerned citizens to contact Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson’s office.
Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”
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