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California law affirms gender-related care for foster youth

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A new California law assures access to counseling, hormone treatment and surgery for transgender foster youth.

The law signed Friday by Gov. Jerry Brown adds such care as a right for foster children. The services would be covered by Medi-Cal, the state’s health insurance program for low-income Californians and those in foster care.

All Medi-Cal recipients have access to hormone and surgical treatments if they are deemed medically necessary.

The bill by Democratic Assemblyman Todd Gloria directs the state Department of Health Care Services to issue guidance and best practices on the topic by Jan. 1, 2020.

Gloria says the law will “empower transgender foster youth to live authentically and simply be themselves.”

The California Family Foundation says such treatment is dangerous and would add to “gender confusion.”