California Dems Want To Fast-Track Medical Licenses for Applicants Who Will Provide Gender-Affirming Care

(Jon Cherry/Getty Images)
May 29, 2024

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

The legislation would require the state medical board, osteopathic board, nursing board, and physicians assistant board to 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" includes puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and body-modification surgeries that "respect" someone’s gender identity "as experienced and defined by the patient." The bill’s proponents include Planned Parenthood, which has drawn fire even from proponents of gender transitions for doling out sex-change drugs to special-needs teens after 30-minute consultations, and Equality California.

The bill is pending now in the state senate and appears poised to pass. It comes in the wake of the United Kingdom’s groundbreaking Cass Review, which found that the evidence cited by gender practitioners and activists to support socially transitioning kids or halting their puberty is "remarkably weak." The report, which has prompted 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 the group Do No Harm that opposes identity politics in medicine and father of Washington Free Beacon chairman Michael Goldfarb, noting that it should be "more difficult" to make sure kids aren’t put through irreversible procedures they will regret later.

"It’s a mess, no question about it," he added.

Bill author and assemblyman Rick Zbur previously led the LGBT group behind most of California’s radical gender ideology laws, from making California a "haven" where out-of-state youth can come for sex changes to letting trans-identifying men transfer to women’s prisons. Zbur, who did not respond to a request for comment, 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.

But critics say the legislation may worsen the medical industry’s slipshod approach to transitioning children. Protection of the Educational Rights of Kids, a California advocacy group opposed to the legislation, said 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.