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  • Raven and Michael

“Affirm or Else”: Weaponizing Forced Compliance to Legalize Kidnapping


We grew up being told that lawmakers are supposed to work for the people, but lately it seems like they are only looking out for one side. One of the major concerns surrounding laws like Illinois HB 4876 is its connection to the “Affirm or Else” bills. What exactly does Illinois HB 4876 entail? At its core, it considers it criminal when parents deny their child access to ‘necessary medical care’ including puberty blockers and hormones. These laws, including House Bill 4876, presented by State Representative Anne Stava-Murray, sought to expand adolescents' rights to pursue gender-affirming procedures without parental agreement. It is shocking that the state does not allow parents to act in the best interests of their own children. One would think that parents ought to be concerned about their child possibly pursuing chemical castration in secret. After all, nobody knows their children better than their own parents. Courage Is A Habit, a parental rights organization specializing in creating tools & strategies for parents to defend their children from indoctrination in K-12, refers to these laws as Transgender “Affirm or Else” Bills because moms and dads are being compelled to comply with a law that has hazardous effects on their children’s lives. This bill shifts the focus of decision-making from the family to legal and medical establishments. It redefines consent, enabling children as young as twelve years old to make irreversible medical decisions without their parents’ knowledge.



Not only is it an attack on parents and their children, but it also affects detransitioners. Medical professionals providing these harmful procedures would receive legal protection, even in cases where parental consent is not obtained, and would be immune from any lawsuits or penalties that may come their way due to malpractice. Reuters has reported that “A third of children expressed regret about their decision to transition from the gender assigned to them at birth.” They have also reported that “Many have admitted to their primary care providers and doctors that they are ashamed to admit they have detransitioned.” It is concerning that state governments would promote giving life-altering drugs to minors when there are so many individuals who regret transitioning early.


Child abuse is defined as any act or failure to act that causes serious physical or emotional harm to a child. However, laws such as these seek to amend the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act in Illinois by adding denial of access to “gender-affirming care” under the category of “abuse.” This has been observed in other states, most recently in Montana. According to the New York Post, a Montana family alleges they lost custody of their 14-year-old girl after opposing her desire to change genders. Todd and Krista Kolstad lost custody of their 14-year-old daughter because they opposed her going through irreversible medical experimentation. The court overruled their concerns, and she was sent to a residential facility in Wyoming. She was later relocated to Canada without their consent.



This warped definition of child abuse allows for massive government overreach and undermines family rights. At this point, there is concern that the Illinois Department of Family and Child Services would intervene, perhaps removing children from their homes. If parents refuse to comply with cancer-causing drugs or risky operations that transform their children's bodies, they may risk a $25,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison. It could create a world where government interference in family decisions becomes normalized. The new law not only redefines child abuse, but it also provides children more decision-making capacity, with the support of legal and medical authorities. This drastic redefinition of parental consent has implications far beyond Illinois’ borders.


At its core, this legislation radically changes what constitutes consent and who is capable of giving it. Give a minor the power to make irreversible decisions about their reproductive organs at the ripe age of 12? What could possibly go wrong? It’s a sledgehammer to the entire premise of child safety. This sets an ominous precedent that doesn’t just cross the line – it cartwheels over the line while throwing confetti. These policies are built on the sick notion that minors should have the sexual autonomy to consent to “gender-affirming” services without their consent being voidable because of their age. If a 12-year-old can consent to infertility and reproductive dysfunction…then what else can they consent to?


Ten years ago, if anyone had suggested that a child could walk into a clinic and sign up for life-altering medical procedures without so much as a word from their parents, they would have been laughed out of the room. But now, such things happen every day in America. If this is the state’s attempt at playing god with our childrens’ lives, then they’ve truly outdone themselves. Luckily, the bill was withdrawn by its sponsor and pulled from consideration. We dodged a bullet in the state of Illinois, but if it almost happened here, then it could happen anywhere.



References:


Abel, L. R. (2024, January 30). Montana Couple Lose Custody of Teen Daughter after Opposing Her Transitioning. National Review. https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/montana-couple-lose-custody-of-teen-daughter-after-opposing-her-transitioning 


Courage Is A Habit. (2024). About. https://www.courageisahabit.com/about




Propper, D. (2024, January 31). Montana parents say they lost custody of daughter after opposing 14-year-old’s gender transition: report. New York Post. https://nypost.com/2024/01/30/news/montana-parents-lose-custody-of-daughter-after-opposing-transition-report/


Reuters. (2021, June 16). A third of transgender adolescents attempt suicide, U.S. study finds. https://www.reuters.com/world/us/third-transgender-adolescents-attempt-suicide-us-study-finds-2021-06-16/ 


Skrnich, H. (2024, February 27). Parental Rights Under Fire: Navigating Legal Battles Unfolding in Montana and Texas. Family Freedom Project. https://familyfreedomproject.org/parental-rights-montana-texas/

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