At the Network for Public Education conference in Philadelphia on May 1, I moderated a panel to discuss attacks on public schools and the groups behind those attacks. Peter Greene identified a long list of groups that claim to be protecting “parents rights.” Peter described groups such as “Moms for America,” “Moms for Liberty,” “For Kids and Country,” “Parents Defending Education,” and the “National Parents Union,” which seem to be led by women with close ties to Trumpism and funded by the usual rightwing crowd. They asserted ”parent rights” to oppose teaching about race and sex. They insisted that parents have the right to control their children.

They say they are fighting for parental rights, yet they have said nothing about the legislation in several states that sever the rights of the parents of transgender youth.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, a conservative Republican, vetoed a bill in his state that eliminates parental rights to seek medical care for their transgender children. The legislature overrode his veto.

“The Republican Party that I grew up with believed in a restrained government that did not jump in the middle of every issue.”

He said transgender health care of young people should be limited to the patient, parents and physicians. “And we ought to yield to that decision making unless there’s a compelling state reason.”

In an attempt to provide context for the trend by Republicans in passing anti-transgender legislation across the country, Hutchinson said there is an overwhelming sense among party members that “there’s undue influence” on young people to reconsider their gender.

But he said, “This was one step way too far and I couldn’t abide by it.”

The “parent rights” groups are silent. They have nothing to say to states that take away the rights of parents of transgender children.

Medical decisions involving children should be made by parents and doctors, not politicians.

Medical decisions affecting adult women should be made by them and their doctors, not by politicians.

Medical decisions affecting adult men should be made by them and their doctors, not politicians.