Calls Needed to Advance Parental Rights Bill in North Dakota

On January 16, six North Dakota state representatives and five state senators introduced House Bill 1403 “relating to prohibiting governmental entities from interfering with parental rights.” The bill guarantees the “fundamental right of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of the parent’s child” and prohibits any government entity from interfering with these rights “unless the governmental entity demonstrates [that] the interference furthers a compelling governmental interest and is narrowly tailored and is the least restrictive means available to further the compelling governmental interest.”

This is a terrific bill that will require that parental rights be treated as the fundamental constitutional rights that they are, as recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in a consistent string of cases dating back 100 years to Meyer v. Nebraska (1923).

On January 30, HB1403 was referred to the House Human Services Committee.

Today, we are asking you to contact your member of the North Dakota House of Representatives and ask them to support HB1403. If they are on the Human Services Committee, ask them to call for a hearing and to vote the bill out of committee. If not, ask them to vote for the bill when it comes to the House floor.

Your message, which should be in your own words, can be as simple as this:

I am calling to ask my representative to support HB1403 Relating to Parental Rights. The vital role of a parent in the life of a child must be protected. It’s time for North Dakota law to catch up with a hundred years of U.S. Supreme Court precedent and protect these rights with the respect they deserve. (If my representative is on the Human Services Committee, I ask him or her to call for a hearing on HB1403 and to vote it out of committee.)

If you email your lawmaker, you might include this link to our video explaining why this legislation is so important:

Thank you for standing with us to protect children by empowering parents through common sense legislation like HB1403 in the North Dakota House.


Will Estrada