Calls Needed to Advance Parental Rights Bill in West Virginia

On January 27, WV Delegate Jim Butler introduced HB3118, Creating the Parents’ Bill of Rights. The bill provides that “[t]he liberty of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, and care, including medical care, of the parent’s child is a fundamental right.” It also requires the government to “demonstrate[e] that the governmental interest as applied to the parent and the child is of the highest order and long recognized in the history and traditions of this state, is narrowly tailored, and is not otherwise served by a less restrictive means.”

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 February 10, HB 3118 passed the House Committee on Senior, Children, and Family Issues and was then assigned to the Judiciary Committee, where we are hearing it may face opposition.

Today, we are asking you to contact your member of the West Virginia House of Delegates and ask them to support HB3118. If they are on the House Judiciary 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 delegate to support HB3118 Creating a Parents’ Bill of Rights. The vital role of a parent in the life of a child must be protected. It’s time for West Virginia 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 delegate is on the Judiciary Committee, I ask him or her to call for a hearing on HB3118 and to vote it out of committee.)

Please also email the House Judiciary Chairman, Del. Moore Capito, and vice-chairman, Del. Tom Fast, and ask them to schedule HB 3118 for a hearing. These men control the committee’s schedule, and they need to hear from you!

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 HB3118 in the West Virginia House.


Will Estrada