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Law Protecting Parental Access to Kids’ Medical Record Paused

(Headline USA) A judge has paused parts of a new Washington state parental rights law derided by leftists as a “forced outing measure.”

King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott on Friday paused portions of the law while a lawsuit brought by civil liberties groups and others is pending, The Seattle Times reported.

The law, known as Initiative 2081, went into effect on June 6. A provision of the law outlining how and when schools must respond to records requests from parents was placed on hold Friday, as well as a provision permitting a parent to access their student’s medical and mental health records.

Other provisions of the law will remain in effect for now, including a section giving parents the ability to opt their children out of assignments and other “student engagements” that include questions about topics such as morality, religion, sexuality and politics.

Adrien Leavitt, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, which is one of the groups that brought the lawsuit, said the organization was pleased the ruling would prevent parts of the law from “causing further harm” while a final decision is sought.

The initiative was backed by Brian Heywood, a conservative donor who has said the measure was not designed to give parents veto power over their child’s decision to access counseling or medical treatment, but just says they have a right to know about it.

Heywood said in a statement that “activist judges think they are smarter than legislators who in turn think they are smarter than voters.”

The state legislature overwhelmingly approved the measure in March, with progressive lawmakers wanting to keep it off the fall ballot and calculating that courts would likely block it.

Leftists have said the measure could harm students who go to school clinics seeking access to birth control, referrals for an abortion, counseling related to their gender identity or sexual orientation, or treatment or support for sexual assault or domestic violence. In many of those cases, the students do not want their parents to know, they said.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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