Alaska’s closest geographical neighbor in the U.S. is about to let minor children get irreversible sex-change surgeries without their parents’ permission.
The Washington State House and Senate have passed a bill that would give youth shelters authority to help runaway kids remove breasts, take cross-sex hormones or access other so-called “gender-affirming” surgical procedures without parental involvement.
Senate Bill 5599 passed both chambers and is expected to head to Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk. If signed, it would take effect by the end of the summer.
Under the new legal framework, youth shelters or host homes will not need parental permission if a runaway child wants cross-sex surgeries or abortions.
Conservative House Republican, Rep. Jim Walsh, condemned the bill as an attack on parents by the “machinery of state government.”
“Since the vote on SB 5599, I’ve been contacted by thousands of concerned Washingtonians about this attack on parents’ rights and families,” Walsh said. “Sponsors and supporters of this bill have overstepped the constitution and case law in promoting this policy, which would allow state bureaucrats to hide minor children from custodial parents and legal guardians. This bill is wrong — legally, ethically and morally.”
He added that the legislation “turns the power and machinery of state government against families.”
“Lawmakers promoting these changes put wedges between children and their parents, grandparents and the people who love them,” Walsh added.
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The bill will have a direct impact on medical centers like the Seattle Children’s Hospital, which offers myriad cross-sex surgeries and puberty blockers for teens from Washington, Alaska, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.
“For gender-affirming genital procedures, patients must be 18 or older by the time of surgery,” the hospital website states. “For other surgeries, timing depends on many factors, like the patient’s stage of puberty and how surgery fits with the rest of their gender-related healthcare. A typical age is mid-teens or older.”
Surgeries offered to children by the hospital include forehead reduction or expansion, nose reduction, facial fat grafting, cheek, jaw or chin alterations, Adam’s apple reduction or enlargement, breast implants or removal. The hospital will also graft or remove fat to “shape a person’s body to better match their gender identity.”
Genital surgeries for teens 18 years and up include removal of the penis and testicles and the creation of a tunnel to appear as a vagina. For biological females who wish to appear as male, the hospital will create the appearance of a penis by using tissue from the vulva, forearm, thigh or side.