Shocking Move: Democrats Push for No Parental Rights Shake-Up!

Lawmakers from California’s Democratic party took a significant step forward on Tuesday, supporting a bill permitting mental health specialists to bring children into state care without their parent’s approval.

The State Senate Judiciary Committee supported Assembly Bill 665 in a party-led vote. The bill suggests that children aged 12, coming from low-income households, could enter state-funded youth shelters based solely on a therapist or counselor’s assessment.

Before the voting, numerous residents across California voiced strong objections against the bill. Some described the bill as allowing 12-year-olds to separate from their families, with others calling it “outrageous” and “risky.” However, the people behind the bill called these reactions based on “misunderstanding” and “untruths.”

The move is seen as another step by California Democrats in a broader campaign to adjust parental rights, especially concerning minors choosing their gender. Other bills under consideration could penalize parents or foster parents who fail to support a child’s choice of transgender identity.

State Senator Scott Wiener and Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo, the bill’s creators, aim to ensure all kids can get the same mental health care. They highlighted that 12-year-olds with private insurance already have outpatient therapy access without needing their parents to agree. This bill, they explained, is just meant to extend this privilege to children covered by Medi-Cal, a program meant for those from lower-income families.

Senator Wiener stated, “This bill is about protecting children. It aims to keep children safe and healthy,” even as the proposed legislation has faced significant backlash. Assemblywoman Carrillo also reassured parents at the meeting, saying that the policy would never prevent children from accessing their parents, despite widespread disbelief from those in attendance.

However, opponents argue this bill goes beyond the current freedoms given to kids under the law. They are concerned that a child as young as 12 could be placed in a shelter without proving they’re mature enough or in danger. They also worry that parents might not be told about the move, leaving that decision to the mental health worker, who could even be someone still in training.

One LA mother, Wendy Minas, who testified against the bill, asked, “Have you, as elected officials, used your platforms to inform the residents of California?” She further pointed out that when people in her community learn about the bill, they express shock and anger.

Others fear that the bill if passed into law, could allow distressed children to run away from their homes and undermine their parents’ decisions regarding sex-change treatments.

Nicole Pearson, a lawyer against the bill, proposed a different solution. She said lawmakers could just change the state’s welfare code if the aim is to let Medi-Cal minors access mental health services without parental approval. In her view, this would leave the existing rules about entering residential shelters untouched.

Despite these concerns, the bill enjoys support from children’s mental health clinics, psychiatrists, insurers, and psychiatric associations. It has faced opposition from conservative advocacy groups, parents’ rights groups, and California Nurses United, a progressive nurses union.

Despite not directly referencing gender identity, the previous actions of one of the bill’s authors, Wiener, have raised eyebrows. His recent legislative actions supporting transgender youth rights have led some to view this new bill with suspicion.