Sometime in the past month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two bills. One of which, the so-called AB 1184, sparked quite some controversy. This bill essentially allows minor patients to keep health insurance information confidential from their parents including “reproductive healthcare and gender-affirming care,” according to Yahoo news. When asked about the bill, the governor responded, “California has been a leader in protecting access to sexual and reproductive rights, but as we have seen recently with unprecedented attacks on these rights, we can and must do more.” Many Californians and also Americans would expect Gov. Newsom to work on the state’s housing crisis, emerging prices, skyrocketing crimes and drug addiction amongst teenagers, especially after defeating a recent recall election, but apparently that is not in the main agenda of the governor.
The 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report noted that California accounted for more than half of the unsheltered people in the United States. According to the same source, a Californian would have to work 112 hours a week, if that person was making the minimum wage $14 an hour, in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment. So, you would expect the Governor to address these issues, but apparently he is not, and chances are he never will. Instead, he is denying Californian parents one of the most basic rights, “the responsibility and authority to make medical decisions on behalf of their children,” as stated by the University of Washington.
And the response from families came fast. “We should be encouraging parents and family to be involved in their children’s lives, not removing them further from it,” said a letter written by the California Family Council. This letter forwarded by Jonathan Keller, the president of the California Family Council, also expressed the concern of the bill not distinguishing between the health plan of someone who is 25 years old and someone who is 18 years old. “Parents should be consulted before their minor children are given life-altering medical treatment,” said Keller, according to the Christian Broadcasting Network. “It’s deeply concerning that the Legislature and the governor continue to usurp parental authority.”
Sometimes I ask myself, “What would you have done if you were a Californian parent in this situation?” Does a parent not have the right to consult and assist its child in important decision-making live events? Most importantly, should the parents of a big state such California have a say in such important laws being passed in the State? The obvious answer is yes, but it is clear that the California gubernatorial leadership does not think that. Instead, they are proving what many political analysts have warned us about: the victory of authoritarianism over freedom. Will we let our country slide in that direction? That is up to each and everyone of us.