There has been a lot of talk in the media lately about little Charlie Gard, and how the courts and bureaucracy of the United Kingdom have prevented his parents from spending their own money to try to treat him in another hospital.
Many are asking, how did we get here? How did many of our brightest minds in law and government arrive at a conclusion that so callously disregards parental rights, parental love, and his parents’ right to fight for his life? How did we get to a place where the state has a higher authority than the boy’s parents? How are the rights of parents to choose a course of treatment completely disregarded? Why does the government think this is O.K.? Where does that authority come from?
Here in Massachusetts, it’s easy to see the roots of the Charlie Gard controversy in recent actions of the state legislature. This past July 8 marked the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Massachusetts Transgender special rights bill. Even as the rights of families and parents erode, leftist advocates are quick to note the “sky hasn’t fallen,” despite such radical pieces of legislation.
But the transgender laws currently on the books, along with guidelines promulgated by the state department of education, grant students (i.e., minor children) the ability to be free from parental involvement in their gender identity choices. If a student in our public schools wants to live as the opposite gender during school hours, and use the school as a conduit to referral to transgender-affirming counselors and networks, the school cannot even tell the parents. A school nurse’s office that can’t even give an aspirin without parental permission can connect a child with medical professionals who will explain the ins and outs of sex-transition surgery and hormone therapy, implying such a transition is good and normal regardless of parental wishes.
The progressive Left marches on, never satisfied with the special rights they’ve won, always determined to force others to accept and affirm their world-view. Several bills currently up for hearings on Beacon Hill pick up where the bathroom law leaves off, in the continuing slippery slope of eroding the rights of parents.
Over the past several sessions, there have been pieces of legislation on Beacon Hill to usurp parental rights when it comes to sex education and abortion. The progressives readily admit they want our tax dollars to be used to teach 10-year-olds to affirm extra-marital sex, abortion, and the fluidity of gender identity, regardless of what their parents believe. Parental rights are neutered, but parents can still make their views on these subjects known to their kids, even though their public schools will use their tax dollars to teach that parents are “bigots” and “haters.”
The latest pieces of legislation filed this year take the war on families and parents one step further.
House Bill 1190, the Counseling Ban dictates a “gag rule” to prohibit licensed psychiatrists from counseling children in the way that such professionals assess to be in the best interest of the child. Instead, the gag rule mandates that professionals follow a “one size fits all” directive that favors feelings of homosexuality or gender identity disorder, regardless of any child’s history, or personal background, or past trauma.
This chilling legislation puts a gag order on a whole profession, stripping away the best interests of both parents and children. It prevents counselors from allowing and encouraging children to mature into their own biological selves, despite the fact that huge majorities of young gender-confused children eventually grow out of their identity problems and lead normal lives. The majority of parents and families across our nation still believe that the affirmation of these feelings of gender confusion in young impressionable kids is often abusive to the children, putting them on a difficult and unnecessarily troubled path in the name of political correctness.
This legislation goes even beyond simply freeing kids from parental authority, to condemn as child abusers parents who tap the brakes on a gender transition for not affirming the child’s true self. Despite all the medical evidence that suggests the child is likely to outgrow these feelings and never transition, the legislation enables the Department of Children and Families to remove kids from their parents for not affirming gender confusion and embracing a child’s chosen gender profile.
It’s completely contrary to common sense, but it’s typical of legislation being pushed by the Left.
Another such proposal is House Bill 3249 (Senate Bill 1186) which would end parental consent and involvement for their underage kids seeking preventative treatments for sexually transmitted diseases.
Parents want and need to know about their children’s life choices. When it comes to questions about intimacy in particular, the guidance of parents is all-important. Why does their underage teen-ager feel he needs HIV or STD prevention drugs now? Has he begun engaging in risky behavior? With whom? And what people or associations have brought him to this point? HB 3249 would allow underage children to get HIV prevention drugs without even notifying parents; but ultimately, parents are responsible for their children’s health and actions, and cutting them out of the picture can only break down communication and have damaging life-altering consequences.
These pieces of legislation push our government and our courts to minimize the role of parents in children’s lives in regard to extremely sensitive decisions related to their values and their health.
We can see the path we’re on at the state level already in Massachusetts, one that not only seeks to remove parents from the equation, but even to usurp their role in the name of political correctness. One could surmise that legislators in the UK have followed a similar path, and one can see the road to a Bay State Charlie Gard right here in one of our hospitals — as we saw with Children’s Hospital and Justina Pelletier.
The war on parents is under way not just across the pond, but here as well.