As Virginia’s state legislative session opened last week, lawmakers jockeyed over parents’ rights and gender issues, with Democrats offering a bill allowing minors to consent to medical procedures and allowing doctors to hide medical records from parents, and Republicans proposing the opposite.
Five Democrat delegates introduced House Bill 2091, which says that medical professionals and counselors may deny parents the right to their own children’s records if “the furnishing to or review by the requesting parent of such health records would be reasonably likely to… deter the minor from seeking care.”
It also says that “Any minor 16 years of age or older who is determined by a health care provider to be mature and capable of giving informed consent shall be deemed an adult for the purpose of giving consent to consultation, diagnosis, and treatment of a mental or emotional disorder by a health care provider or clinic.”
The sponsors were Candi Mundon King of Prince William and Stafford; Nadarius Clark of Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Portsmouth; Patrick Hope of Arlington; Michelle Lopes Maldonado of Prince William and Manassas; Sam Rasoul of Roanoke; and Marcus Simon of Fairfax. Mundon King, the lead sponsor, did not return a request for comment.
Jeanine Lawson, a Republican member of the Board of Supervisors in Prince William, where some of the Democrat bill’s sponsors hail from, who ran for Congress this year said of the Democrats’ bill: “Sixteen year olds are not adults. Their brains are not fully developed and they’re deeply affected by peer pressure. Parents must approve their driver’s license, field trips and skipping class. Parents are their guardians in the truest sense of the word.”
“The Left doesn’t care about the troubled teens they leave in their wake. They use them, evidenced by the hateful way they treat detransitioners. And now they are trying to separate them from the people who care for them most-their parents. It’s unconscionable and despicable. It’s Virginia Democrats today,” she told The Daily Wire.
On the same day, Republican Delegate Dave LaRock of Clarke, Frederick, and Loudoun introduced House Bill 2280, asserting that parents have a right to children’s health records and blocking the ability for minors to consent to medical procedures without their parents.
LaRock told The Daily Wire that “Activists, including those in schools, are doing everything they can to hide life-altering conversations and decisions from parents, even, in some cases, deliberately misinforming parents and children. This is not in the best interests of the students or parents.”
“Just over a year ago, Virginia voters strongly sided with parental rights over the ‘we know best’ education bureaucracy, and elected a ‘Parents First’ Governor. This new law I’m proposing will support parent’s rights to protect their children’s wellbeing,” he said.
LaRock and two other Republicans also proposed a constitutional amendment that would add to the commonwealth’s Bill of Rights the “Rights of parents. That there exists a fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children. The Commonwealth shall not infringe these rights without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.”
Another Virginia Democrat, Delegate Elizabeth Guzman of Fauquier, previously said she would introduce legislation that could have parents criminally prosecuted if they do not “affirm” their child’s decision to transition genders. That bill has not been introduced after backlash.