On Tuesday, Democrats in the state of California advanced a bill that would allow therapists and other mental health “professionals” to have children forcibly removed from their homes and placed into state custody without the consent of the parents.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the State Senate’s Judiciary Committee approved Assembly Bill 665, which passed by a party-line vote. If the bill became law, children as young as 12 would be legally allowed to check themselves into state-run shelters with the unconditional approval of a therapist or counselor, and without the parents’ knowledge.
The bill is authored by State Senator Scott Wiener (D-Calif.) and State Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo (D-Calif.). Wiener in particular has a long history of introducing highly controversial, pro-LGBTQ bills that are often passed into law, including a bill making it legal to knowingly infect someone with HIV.
The authors claim that the bill is only meant to provide equal access to mental health services for all children in the state of California, and could only apply to children who are on Medi-Cal, the state-funded Medicaid program that primarily targets low-income families.
“This bill protects children. It makes children safer. It makes children healthier,” Wiener falsely claimed. “It’s unfortunate that this bill, like so many, has been caught up in this right-wing outrage machine.”
However, the bill is already facing widespread backlash. Prior to the committee vote, numerous California residents publicly testified against the bill; various witnesses described it as an “emancipation of 12 year olds,” “heinous,” and “dangerous.”
Under the bill, there would be no obligation for any such therapist or counselor to prove that a 12-year-old is mature enough or in a dangerous enough situation to justify being placed in a “residential shelter.” There is such a requirement for minors who are on private insurance. Similarly, any possible decision to inform the parents or withhold such information from them would be left entirely up to the mental health professional involved, even if it is simply an intern or trainee.
“Have each of you used your elected platforms and networks to inform and speak with the people of California?” Wendy Minas, a Los Angeles mother, asked the Senate committee during her testimony. “It doesn’t seem so, because when I talk to my community, no one knows about it. And when they hear about it, they are shocked and angry that you would consider passing an extreme bill that would break apart families during a child’s most difficult and challenging years.”
Others have warned that the bill would enable juvenile delinquents and other troubled children to simply run away from home, even if they are not being abused or in an otherwise dangerous situation. The bill would also allow children who mistakenly believe they are “transgender” to flee their homes if their parents do not agree to “sex-change” surgeries or treatments.
“The authors want to change the law to let a 12 year old opt out of their home on a whim, invoking parental separation and emancipation of minors without any claim of danger or parental consent,” said attorney Nicole Pearson during her testimony. “This is child emancipation.”