A California mom concerned about a new state measure requiring judges to consider whether a parent has affirmed their child’s belief that they are transgender during custody battles warned Sunday that the policy could have disastrous implications.
“This is the steady assault on family and children that we’ve been seeing this legislative session and throughout the past couple of years in California,” Nicole Pearson, a mom of three and a member of the newly-formed “Protect Kids California” group, told Fox News.
“If both parents are conservative, and they are not comfortable affirming their child, what does that mean? The way that we read the law is that both will be jeopardizing the child’s health, safety and welfare… does that mean that the state will find that both are endangering or neglecting or even abusing their child and remove custody from both parents? And if no one is available to step up and take custody of the child, that child becomes a ward of the state.
“People need to be paying attention to what’s happening here in California,” she continued.
The California State Assembly passed AB 957 on Friday, dealing a blow to parental rights advocates like Pearson who warned the policy could jeopardize parental custody rights because they disagree with the child’s decision to identify with a gender that does not correspond with their biological sex.
Jonathan Zachreson, also a “Protect Kids California” activist, told Fox News the measure could be indicative of things to come across the U.S. at some point.
“What happens in California will not stay in California,” he said. “There’s efforts that we’re trying to do to help mitigate some of these efforts through some initiatives and, in particular, to protect children from reproductive harm.”
Zachreson joined “Fox & Friends” last Tuesday where, alongside “Protect Kids California activist Erin Friday, a Democrat, where he discussed these measures, particularly three proposed 2024 ballot initiatives to help “protect kids.” One would prevent minors from receiving gender-affirming care procedures or puberty blockers. Another would require schools to inform parents if their child elects to adopt a different gender identity other than the one corresponding with their biological sex.
The third bars biological males from competing in women’s sports.
Democratic California state Rep. Lori Wilson, who introduced the bill along with state Sen. Scott Wiener, said on the assembly floor, “Parents affirm their children, they have since the dawn of time. Typically it happens when their gender identity matches their biological gender.” She continued, later adding that it is parents’ “duty” to affirm kids’ gender identities.
Pearson called the measure “dangerous” and “unconstitutional” during her sound-off on Sunday, saying the policy might lead parents to ignore other options that could help their children suffering from gender dysphoria.
“There are over 9 million children in the state of California. What AB 957 says is that every single one of them who’s going through a divorce, whose parents are fighting over them, whose entire world is crumbling, their entire identity – not their gender identity – their entire identity is crumbling, that we as parents have to affirm that confusion… gender confusion, especially in this context, is a cry for help,” she said.
“It’s a manifestation of stress, anxiety, depression, a whole host, a slew of other psychological and mental emotional distress that these children are suffering. To tell them, ‘Affirm or lose your child,’ it’s unconstitutional, it’s illegal, is actually dangerous because it will force parents to look away and not consider other therapies that child might need.”
Others concerned about the measure’s implications sounded off on social media, including the outspoken Libs of TikTok account, who blasted it as “insanity of the highest levels.”
Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk also weighed in, writing on X Friday, “This bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. What it actually means is that if you disagree with the other parent about sterilizing your child, you lose custody. Utter madness!”
The bill is now headed to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.
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