Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced AB 665, which would allow children as young as 12-years-old to consent to their own mental health care and to being placed into state-funded group homes without parental permission or knowledge.
The bill would allow mental health professionals to give children these services upon their request, even if the children are not experiencing abuse or neglect at home. In other words, it enables a child to decide whether to leave his or her family or get counseling at the age of 12.
Further, the bill doesn’t even require a court to hear the side of the parents. A child can simply consult a community mental health provider and decide not to come home from school one day without any evidence of wrongdoing by the parents.
The bill even lets mental health professionals decide whether or not to inform a child’s parents “after consulting with the minor.”
Prior to the vote, numerous Californians passionately provided testimony against the bill, expressing their strong opposition by denouncing it as “emancipation of 12 year olds,” “heinous,” and “dangerous.” However, the authors of the bill disregarded these concerns, labeling them as “misinformation” and “lies.”
California attorney Erin Friday, and one of the leaders of Our Duty, appeared on Fox News to discuss the bill, noting that children cannot possibly understand the consequences of emancipating themselves. “Children don’t really understand that by opting themselves out, into a residential shelter, that they are opting themselves into a dangerous situation, and one that they can’t get out of,” said Friday.
In an article for Human Events, Friday wrote that the real intent of this bill “is to make it easy for the 10,000 new mental health providers that will be disseminated onto California public school campuses to convince your 12-year-old child that a ‘chosen’ family is better than your real family, especially if her real family will not agree to transgender interventions…Once a child is deemed a “runaway,” or is in the foster care system,” she continued, “he can dictate his own gender interventions…This bill is a mechanism to find parents implicitly ‘abusive’ for not transitioning their kids.”
This bill is part of a larger effort by California Democrats to prevent parents from stopping the medical transitioning of their children with drugs and surgeries. Recently, the Senate Judiciary Committee moved forward with another bill, AB 957, which would consider it abusive for a parent to not affirm a child’s gender “identity” and would deny custody to non-affirming parents during custody disputes.
Parents alone have the right to direct their children’s mental health care. AB 665 is an extremely dangerous bill that would distort family dynamics and severely undermine parental rights. Ultimately, it would be doing children’s mental health a grave disservice by removing the protective oversight of their parents, who know and care for their children the most.