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COVID-19 Kills Harmful Bills; Legislation to Sterilize Kids/Adults Survives

One of the unintended bright spots to come from the COVID-19 pandemic is that a number of harmful, unconstitutional bills introduced by the California legislature died before being heard in committee. After legislators shut down the Capitol March 16 to help stop the spread of the virus, there wasn’t enough time for every bill to get a hearing after the legislators returned May 4. Plus a $54 billion budget deficit caused by quarantine measures on businesses changed legislative priorities. Many legislators were told their bills would have to wait until next year if they were not health-related. 

Yet the virus wasn’t able to kill all the bad bills. One particularly harmful proposal, AB 2218, establishes a taxpayer-subsidized fund to pay for sterilizing transgender hormones and surgeries for minors and adults. This bill overwhelmingly passed the Assembly health and appropriation committees, and is set to be voted on by the full Assembly this week or next. 

According to author Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D) Los Angeles, AB 2218 established an “LGBT Transgender Wellness Fund,” to provide grants to nonprofits, hospitals, health care clinics (like Planned Parenthood), and other medical providers that supply puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for minors, as well as cross-sex hormones and “sex-change” operations for adults. Originally the bill asked for $15 million to start the fund, but that amount was recently removed from the bill text. Now the exact amount added to the fund will be decided by the legislature at a later date. (Call your legislators, found here, and tell them to vote no on AB 2218)

According to Dr. Quentin Van Meter, a board-certified pediatric endocrinologist who testified against AB 2218 in the Assembly Health Committee, studies show children who are treated with cross-sex hormones for their gender confusion have “significant mental health issues,” that remain even after hormone therapy. Van Meter warned legislators that the state would be sued in the coming years for funding transgender affirming treatments for troubled and vulnerable children because they destroy healthy body tissue, sterilize the recipient, and cause irreversible damage.  (Read more about Dr. Van Meter’s testimony…)

Bills that COVID-19 Killed 

  • AB 2826 would have outlawed boys and girls toy/clothes aisles in big box stores. This bill, authored by Assemblyman Evan Low (D) San Jose, never received a committee hearing. 

    AB 2826 would have made it illegal to display children’s clothing or toy items by sex in stores with more than 500 employees. Low believes separating these items by sex incorrectly implies that their use by the opposite sex is inappropriate. A retail department store violating this law would have been liable for a $1000 civil penalty. For more details read CFC’s article here
  • SB 1004 would have forced health insurance companies to hide from parents the “sensitive” services received by their children, like abortions and mental health treatment. This bill, authored by Senator Hannah Beth Jackson (D) Santa Barbara and sponsored by Planned Parenthood, never received a hearing.

    SB 1004 would have required health insurance companies to hide from parents “sensitive” medical procedures given to their adult and minor children. These “sensitive” services include abortions; sexually transmitted infections treatment; drug abuse and mental health treatment; sexual assault treatment; and for adult children, cross-sex hormones and sex-change operations. If it had passed, parents would have found themselves obligated to pay for medical bills for their dependents without knowing what they are paying for. For more details read CFC’s article here.
  • AB 1973 was a Planned Parenthood sponsored bill that would have eliminated co-pays and deductibles for abortion for those with public or private health insurance. Its author Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager (D) Los Angeles never received a hearing for this bill. AB 1973 would have prohibited Medi-Cal, a health care service plan, or an individual or group policy of disability insurance from imposing a deductible, coinsurance, copayment, or any other cost-sharing requirement on coverage for abortions.
  • AB 2035 would have required social workers to inform foster youth, 10 years or older, of their rights to secret abortions and birth control. Author Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D) San Gabriel Valley, was unable to secure a hearing for this bill.

    This bill would have mandated foster children, starting in fifth grade, be told of their rights to receive free birth control and abortions without the approval or knowledge of their foster parents. It specifically would have required county social workers to verify to the court that they have informed foster care children over 10 years of age of these rights and where to get these services. The bill would have also required foster families to receive annual training explaining these rights for foster care children.


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