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State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, at the Capitol, Thursday, April 20, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, at the Capitol, Thursday, April 20, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, at the Capitol, Thursday, April 20, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Michael Majchrowicz
By Michael Majchrowicz October 31, 2022

No, California state Sen. Wiener’s SB 107 doesn’t call for ‘sterilization’ of kids

If Your Time is short

  • Senate Bill 107, also known as the gender-affirming health care bill, was signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 29 and will officially become law Jan. 1, 2023. It does not call for the sterilization of children.

  • The legislation is meant to protect transgender youth and their families who seek refuge in California after fleeing states that have banned gender-affirming health care for youths.

Forced sterilization is the stuff human rights organizations rail against. The International Justice Resource Center, for example, calls it "a human rights violation and can constitute an act of genocide, gender-based violence, discrimination, and torture."

But an Instagram post suggests that one California lawmaker is advocating sterilization of children everywhere.

The Oct. 23 post showed a Halloween event in which three adults in costumes stand next to a man in everyday attire who offers handfuls of candy to children.

"That is senator Scott Weiner handing candy to that little girl," the Instagram post said. "She looks very uncomfortable doesn’t she? Weiner is the man who authored SB 107 which makes California a sanctuary state for trans kids from all over the country. He doesn’t just want to sterilize California kids, but sterilization of kids everywhere!"

To add to the sense of doom, the theme song from the 1978 horror classic "Halloween" plays in the background.

The post was flagged as part of Instagram’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Wiener, a Democrat and an attorney whose district includes San Francisco, has been a member of the California Assembly since 2016. He sponsored California Senate Bill 107.

It does not call for youth sterilization, as this post suggests. The legislation is meant to protect transgender youth and their families who seek refuge in California after fleeing states that have banned gender-affirming health care for youths. 

The measure also clarifies that California courts have jurisdiction over any custody cases that may arise from parents taking their children to the state for care.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill, also known as the gender-affirming health care bill, Sept. 29; it will become law in 2023.

As defined by the World Health Organization, gender-affirming (also referred to as gender-affirmative) health care broadly refers to any "social, psychological, behavioral or medical (including hormonal treatment or surgery) interventions designed to support and affirm an individual’s gender identity."

In a statement to PolitiFact via a spokesperson, Weiner called the claim "vile" and "untrue." 

"Opponents to the law are willfully mischaracterizing it, including claiming lawmakers support the ‘sterilization’ of children," he said.

"The only thing that SB 107 does is ensure that parents and doctors won’t go to jail for allowing trans kids to be who they are by allowing life-saving healthcare."

Earlier this year, a host of states introduced varied proposals that would make it a crime for legal guardians to help their children gain access to gender-affirming care. Texas’ Republican governor, Greg Abbott, wrote a letter to state health agencies saying that offering gender-affirming care "constitutes child abuse" and requiring doctors, nurses and teachers report such cases to Texas’ Department of Family and Protective Services.

A judge partially blocked the directive’s enforcement, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said denying said care to trans youth breached federal law.

Our ruling

An Instagram video claimed that Wiener, a California state lawmaker,  "doesn’t just want to sterilize California kids, but sterilization of kids everywhere!"

The post refers to Senate Bill 107, which Wiener sponsored and establishes California as a haven for families of trans youth seeking gender-affirming health care by choice. It does not call for forced sterilization, which is widely considered a human rights violation. 

We rate this claim False.

RELATED: New California law on transgender youths doesn’t remove a parent’s custody

 

Our Sources

Instagram post, Oct. 24, 2022

California Legislature, "Senate Bill 107," accessed Oct. 28, 2022

Emailed statement from Calif. Sen. Scott Wiener via spokesperson, Oct. 28, 2022

Press release from Office of Calif. Sen. Scott Wiener, "Senator Wiener’s Historic Bill To Provide Refuge For Trans Kids And Their Families Signed Into Law," accessed Oct. 28, 2022

Merriam-Webster, secondary definition of "sterilization," accessed Oct. 28, 2022

Office of Gov. Gavin Newsom, "Legislative Update," Sept. 29, 2022

World Health Organization, "Gender incongruence and transgender health in the ICD: What is gender-affirmative health care?" accessed Oct. 28, 2022

Washington Post, "What does the Texas anti-trans law do?" March 10, 2022

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No, California state Sen. Wiener’s SB 107 doesn’t call for ‘sterilization’ of kids

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