Culture War Government Health

CA Dems Push Radical Fast-Track for Gender-Affirming Medical Licenses

California’s medical credentialing boards would be required to fast-track licenses for clinicians and therapists focused on gender transitions and other gender-affirming care under a controversial bill that has already cleared the state assembly.

The legislation would mandate that the state medical board, osteopathic board, nursing board, and physician assistant board expedite licenses “for an applicant who demonstrates that they intend to provide gender-affirming health care and gender-affirming mental health care.”

“Gender-affirming care” as defined by this bill includes puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and body-modification surgeries that “respect” someone’s gender identity “as experienced and defined by the patient.” Among the bill’s proponents are Planned Parenthood, an organization that has faced criticism even from proponents of gender transitions for quickly prescribing sex-change drugs to special-needs teens after brief consultations, and Equality California.

Currently pending in the state senate and likely to pass, this legislation comes despite the United Kingdom’s groundbreaking Cass Review, which found that the evidence supporting socially transitioning kids or halting their puberty is “remarkably weak.” This report, which has led Wales and Scotland to limit gender-transition practices for minors along with the U.K., Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands, has been largely ignored by the U.S. medical establishment.

“The problem is that they’re doing backflips to make it easier and easier for children to get these treatments,” said Stanley Goldfarb, chairman of Do No Harm, a group that opposes identity politics in medicine. Goldfarb emphasized that it should be “more difficult” to ensure kids aren’t put through irreversible procedures they will regret later.

Bill author and assemblyman Rick Zbur, who previously led the LGBT group behind most of California’s radical gender ideology laws, did not respond to a request for comment. He has highlighted the legislation’s focus on making it easier for minors to receive cross-sex hormones and surgery by guaranteeing “a robust network of providers and timely access to care for both in-state and out-of-state patients.”

“The number of states with laws or policies restricting access to gender-affirming care has increased dramatically, with estimates suggesting that about one-third of trans youth in the U.S. now live in states that ban access to gender-affirming care,” Zbur stated in the bill’s analysis.

Critics argue that the legislation may worsen the medical industry’s hasty approach to transitioning children. Protection of the Educational Rights of Kids, a California advocacy group opposed to the legislation, insists that the licensure process for “anyone treating gender issues” should be more rigorous.

“With higher rates of depression and suicide for this demographic, there is a real concern that rushed licensure to treat this demographic can lead to higher rates of financial and legal challenges that will burden the system, as well as greater rates of detransitioning if said candidates are not well trained in how to observe, diagnose, and properly treat this demographic of patients,” the group said.

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