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OLYMPIA, Wash. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Washington state's Democrat-controlled Legislature and the state's far-left governor established a new law that permits children without parental consent to undergo taxpayer-funded abortions and so-called sex-change procedures.
Governor Jay Inslee signed into law on Tuesday Senate Bill 5599. Just before signing, he boasted, "Washington leads the way by taking a more compassionate, developmentally appropriate, and reasoned approach to support these youth as they access gender-affirming treatment and reproductive health care services."
Republicans voted unanimously against the Democrats' party-line bill.
Before it was signed into law, Senate Republican leader John Braun denounced the bill, saying, "The only thing SB 5599 would do is cause harm by driving a wedge between vulnerable kids and their parents, at a time when a teen lacks the perception and judgment to make critical life-altering decisions."
"A parent may not even know why the child ran away and could involve law enforcement or other groups in a desperate search — all the while going through an unnecessary emotional nightmare, imagining the worst about what might have happened," he added.
Braun further noted the bill would allow teenagers from other states to travel to Washington to undergo harmful procedures unavailable in their own states.
"Unless there is reason to suspect parental abuse or harm, parents deserve to know where their teenagers are," he asserted.
Republican Rep. Jim Walsh concurred.
"Among its many flaws, the bill assumes families that don't 'affirm' a child's short-term desires are being abusive. Wrong!" Rep. Walsh posited in a statement to media.
Sometimes love requires parents to not affirm their child's whims. Loving parents guide their children as they grow. Sometimes that means saying "no." During floor debate, we heard the tired old cliche that "it takes a village to raise a child." That's false. That notion has resulted in exploding crime rates, homelessness, and rising teen suicide rates in Washington. Enough.
Walsh concluded by defending natural law, emphasizing, "Parents are the primary stakeholders in their children's upbringing ― not the government."
Many other Republicans weighed in to voice similar opposition.
Yakima's bishop, Joseph Tyson, explained to Church Militant the Washington State Catholic Conference resisted the bill and urged others to do the same, noting the bill "undermines families."
Before Governor Inslee signed the bill into law, the conference distributed the following statement:
Send Governor Inslee a message, and urge him to veto Senate Bill 5599 (SB 5599). Currently, licensed overnight shelters and licensed organizations providing services to homeless or runaway youth must contact a youth's parents if they know that a child is away from home without parental permission. Exceptions may be made if notifying a parent or legal guardian will subject a minor to abuse or neglect.
SB 5599 would further expand exceptions to notifying parents or legal guardians. Namely, if a youth is seeking an abortion or gender-affirming care, parents or legal guardians do not need to be notified.
According to Catholic Social Teaching, the family is the most central social institution, and it must be supported and strengthened. SB 5599 undermines families and allows persons other than a minor's parents to authorize life-changing medical procedures for underage youth. In line with the bishops' legislative priorities to protect children and families and respect life, the WSCC opposes SB 5599.
Bishop Tyson further explained to Church Militant how it is important not only to oppose but to propose.
"As a church, we need to walk with women in need. PREPARES is the unique initiative of our state that walks the journey of life from the first moment of conception through the child's fifth birthday — and even beyond," he elaborated.
The service offers material, spiritual and psychological support.
Despite massive pushback, which included protests and letter-writing campaigns, Democrat control of both houses — a 58–40 majority in the House of Representatives and a 29–20 majority in the Senate — ensured the bill was pushed through and then signed into law by Inslee.
Before the bill became law, the Senate Human Services Committee held a hearing in February. Nearly 5,000 people signed in with an opinion, revealing 98% of them were against the bill, including parents from the so-called LGBTQ community.
One young person shared her experience as a victim of sexual assault.
"In the short term, I might have felt better having medically transitioned. Despite feeling better in the short term, medical transition would have profoundly damaged me, potentially even more than the sexual assault [that caused her gender dysphoria]," she warned.
In a tweet, Washington Senate Republicans highlighted this individual's testimony, exposing an underlying hypocrisy in the Democrats' narrative. The Republican senators posited: "If we are to listen to lived experiences, listen to even those who oppose Legislative Democrats' SB 5599."
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