Just eight days after surviving a recall election, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a controversial bill that allows health insurance companies to conceal from parents “sensitive” services that their children have received—including abortions, puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.
The law, AB 1184, requires insurance providers to direct all communications about “health care services related to mental or behavioral health, sexual and reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, substance use disorder, gender-affirming care and intimate partner violence” to the patient, even if the patient is a minor and the policy is held by a parent.
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC), which sponsored the bill, applauded its passage in a press release, calling it a “step in the right direction.” The abortion advocacy group also vowed to continue to work alongside Newsom and other legislative leaders to “push for increased access and affordability of sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion.”
Yet while PPAC celebrated, critics lamented the blatant usurpation of parental rights.
“How can moms and dads protect their children if insurance companies deliberately keep them in the dark?” California Family Council President Jonathan Keller said. “Parents are responsible for the health and safety of their sons and daughters. Even the best-intentioned medical providers cannot replace the role of mothers and fathers. California should not force doctors to hide the truth about irreversible medical procedures like abortion and sterilizing hormone treatments.”
California-based pro-family public policy organization Capitol Resource Institute posted a similar message to Twitter, pointing out that Planned Parenthood will use AB 1184 to drum up more business. “Planned Parenthood is greedy for young customers & will do ANYTHING to remove the barrier of parents to sell harmful, life-altering medical treatments to kids.”
The new law passed the California Assembly, 61-14, and the Senate, 29-8.