Parental Rights To Be Addressed in State Legislatures

Dear Champion of Parental Rights,

State legislatures all over the country reconvened this week (or last), and in some of them the issue of parental rights is, if not front and center, at least high on the agenda.

Sadly, in recent years many states have taken up bills that would further erode parental rights, such as California’s law to force a one-size-fits-all vaccination schedule on every child. Fortunately, while these bills have been introduced all over the country, they have been defeated far more often than not so far. But be warned: their advocates will not give up easily.

On the other hand, some states are about to introduce bills that defend parental rights. Utah’s new parenting law from 2018 covers a laundry list of fixes, from “free-range parenting” to clear language providing that family poverty does not constitute child neglect.

This year we are adding to the mix not only additional statutes, but state resolutions calling for Congress to adopt the Parental Rights Amendment. These resolutions are not legally binding, but add urgency and legitimacy for a U.S. senator or representative to cosponsor or vote in favor of that measure.

A Solid Start

It is very early in the state legislative season, so we don’t have actual introductions or bill numbers yet. But volunteers are already active all over the country to bring those victories about, and they are reporting real progress.

Our leader in Pennsylvania has talked with multiple potential sponsors and narrowed the field to two particularly interested (and effective) lawmakers. Meanwhile, sponsors in other states assure us that a statute or resolution introduction is imminent—including measures in Nebraska, Texas, Florida, and Indiana.

Of these, Indiana is especially exciting because we did not have any grassroots presence there six months ago. Now our small but passionate team has come together to bring a resolution nearly to the point of introduction. That is a major step!

But the other efforts are just as encouraging. In fact, as I write this I just got off the phone with a possible lead sponsor for Florida, who expressed her passion to protect families not just on paper, but with a bill that will “have some teeth.”

(While I’m keeping sponsor names “close to the vest” at this writing, we will provide those details publicly as bills and resolutions are introduced over the next couple of weeks.)

I’ve also heard from allied and like-minded organizations in other states who will be introducing parent-friendly, family-protecting bills in their legislatures in the days ahead—bills we will not shepherd ourselves, but which will support your rights. We will work with these organizations to secure victories for their bills, as well.

Exciting News Yet To Come

In summary, while we’re short on the details we can provide publicly just yet, I wanted you to know we are seeing a lot of exciting movement in states all over the country. With your continued partnership, whether as a donor, a volunteer, or a follower on our supporter list, we are poised to see advances big and small all over the country in 2019.

So thank you for standing with us! Be sure to keep an eye on your email over the coming weeks as we will update you not only on cosponsors of the Parental Rights Amendment, but also of strong, effective efforts to protect parental rights in your state!


Michael T. Ramey
Executive Director