Do We NEED the Parental Rights Amendment?
One of the recurring criticisms we hear most often is that we don’t need the Parental Rights Amendment (PRA). The reasons people give vary widely, from “the government isn’t really going to trample on parental rights,” to “the government won’t pay any attention to it if we pass it anyway.” But a quick look around should suffice to prove that the need is in fact very great.
In April a Sacramento couple had their 5-month-old son taken away by “child protection workers” because they removed the boy from one hospital to get a second opinion at another. The parents remained under court-ordered supervision from case workers for weeks afterward simply because they dared to demand the best medical care for their child.
In June the federal government and the courts made “Plan B,” or the “morning after pill,” available to girls of any age without medical or parental consent. This leaves little girls potentially without the protection and wisdom their parents can provide in a time of crisis.
In 2012 the Supreme Court refused to consider the violation of a couple’s Fourth Amendment rights which arose when deputies and case workers invaded the home and conducted an illegal search at the threat of removing the couple’s children from their care. The Ninth Circuit held that threatening to take your children away does not constitute coercion vis-à-vis your freedom from unwarranted searches.
This year California and Oregon were among the states that passed laws making it harder for parents to decide for themselves whether or not to administer vaccines to their child.
Meanwhile, we undertook efforts in several states to adopt parental rights statutes in state law. Why? Because the courts can no longer seem to agree on thecurrent status of parental rights under the law. Judges rule on a case-by-case basis, protecting the rights of some parents while disregarding the rights of others.
In short, the fact that parental rights are being trampled in America today is undeniable. And the best way – perhaps the only way – to stop this trend is the proposed Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The PRA as proposed contains 5 brief, clear sections. Section One establishes that “the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right.” Section Two further defines the education aspect of this liberty. Section Three requires that parental rights cases be decided by strict judicial scrutiny – the same legal standard applied to all other fundamental rights cases. Section Four states that the PRA does not apply to end-of-life cases one way or another; current law on these matters will continue untouched by the PRA.Section Five protects parental rights from sources of international law as well.
1. Please forward this email to your friends and loved ones who may be wondering why a Parental Rights Amendment would ever be necessary. Hopefully they will see why we are so concerned and they will visit our website to sign the petition and stand with us.
2. If your Congressman is already a cosponsor of HJRes 50 (see the list here), please take a moment to send them a “thank you” email. (No calls, please.) You might say something like this in your own words:
Thank you for showing your support for parental rights by cosponsoring HJRes 50, the Parental Rights Amendment. With so many examples in the news of everyone from doctors to courts to legislatures to public schools riding roughshod over our rights to raise our children according to our own convictions, it is encouraging to know that you have taken a stand to defend us.
To find their contact info, click on your state at ParentalRights.org/states, then click the link to the website of your congressman.
3. Just hang on. Things may seem quiet now, and we plan next week to explain to you a little bit why that is. But things will not stay quiet much longer. The threat of the CRPD still looms, while the PRA is making steady progress in the U.S. House. Please continue to support us and stay informed. We count on you to continue to stand with us as we work together to protect your parental rights.
Thank you in advance for the victories we will share together!
Director of Communications & Research