Republican state Sen. Clay Yarborough has introduced a bill that could allow a father to kidnap his trans child. (Facebook)
A recently introduced bill in Florida could allow a father to kidnap his children and bring them across state lines if the father believes the child is receiving gender-affirming health care, or even if the child is simply ” at risk” of receiving that care.
“A court may not treat the removal of a child from another parent or from another state by a parent as unjustifiable conduct or child abuse,” says the bill introduced Friday by Republican state Sen. Clay Yarborough.
The bill would also allow any court to intervene to determine custody if a child receives gender-affirming health care. And it would prevent any public agency from wasting money on gender-affirming care, leaving people who depend on the government for help paying for this care to fend for themselves.
“A transphobic parent could kidnap their trans child in violation of custody agreements and elope to Florida and be protected under Florida law under this even though they likely committed felony kidnapping in their home state. ”, Alejandra Caraballo, Clinical Instructor at the Cyber Law Clinic at Harvard Law School, tweeted about the bill. Speaking of all the trans-targeted bills now in the Florida state legislature, Caraballo added: “This is a complete removal of recognition and a limitation on access to care for all trans people, including grown ups”.
This bill is just the latest volley in the national battle for the rights of trans and non-binary children. So far, at least five states have banned providers from offering gender-affirming care to minors, even if their parents support it. Three of those states — Mississippi, Utah, and South Dakota — have passed these bans in the past month. Meanwhile, federal courts have blocked the enforcement of these laws in Arkansas and Alabama.
South Dakota law would also force trans youth to detransition, because it only allows doctors who treat trans youth one year to stop providing gender-affirming care.
Opposition to the right to care of trans and non-binary youth is now a common tactic in the GOP playbook. in 2022, Republican candidates and anti-LGBTQ groups spent more than $50 million in ads that primarily target trans youth, according to research by the Human Rights Campaign.
Trans and non-binary children already face staggering rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. But allowing them to use puberty blockers, hormones, and gender-affirming surgeries has been all linked to improving their mental health.
These are all forms of health care that would make child abduction justified under this new Florida bill.