Well, well, well. David French, who joined the New York Times as a contributor this year, looks like he’s on a mission to prove to the world that he’s as “conservative” as the typical token “Republican” co-host of The View.
His most recent Sunday column for the “Gray Lady” attempts to make a conservative case for transing children, and I can’t help but wonder what the heck happened to this man.
French, to his credit, criticizes how public schools nationwide have been undermining parental authority by hiding their children’s efforts to transition, as well as California for becoming a sanctuary state for out-of-state minors to receive so-called “gender-affirming” care, even against the wishes of their parents.
But then he loses the conservative plot completely. “And because every culture war action against civil liberties has its mirror image on the other side,” French writes, “Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas issued a directive to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate as ‘abuse’ both surgical and pharmaceutical interventions for transgender children, regardless of the good faith and desires of the parents, children and caregivers involved.”
To understand the gravity of the state interference with parental authority, it’s worth remembering the words of Chief Justice Warren Burger in the 1972 case Wisconsin v. Yoder, in which he wrote that the “primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition.” To simply presume that parents are abusive because they may dissent from state consensus on transgender care is to violate this principle of American law.
Wait, what? Conservatives acknowledge that parents, not the state, raise children and are responsible for consenting to medical decisions on their behalf. But, children have been abused by parents, and there are plenty of state and federal laws that protect children from abusive parents; no one claims that’s a violation of parental rights or the Constitution.
“In a nation as diverse as the United States, conflicts over values are inevitable, but our most basic civil liberties must remain inviolate,” French says. “To govern otherwise both inflicts a grave injury on dissenting citizens and violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution itself.”
Related: But This Never Happens: Biological Male Identifying as Trans Arrested for Molesting Daycare Infant
But this isn’t about a conflict of values. We recognize that parents have the inalienable right to raise their children according to their beliefs. This does not permit them to subject their kids to harm and abuse—and subjecting children to irreversible “gender-affirming” care such as puberty blockers or mutilating their bodies is, in every sense of the word, abuse.
Has David French forgotten that last summer the FDA formally acknowledged the dangers of puberty blockers because they can cause pseudotumor cerebri, also known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension, which can cause brain swelling, severe headaches, nausea, double vision, and even permanent vision loss?
And what about the fact that several European countries, including the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, and France, have all dialed back on pushing transgender “treatments” for children? This month, Norway followed suit. Why? Because they recognize the harm it does to kids. If “progressive” countries in Europe can understand that pushing transgenderism on children is abusive, then David French should be able to acknowledge that just because some American parents consent to transing their children doesn’t mean the state is wrong to call it abuse.