"Honor thy father and thy mother."

We the People...

ON PARENTAL RIGHTS 

The Solution: The Parental Rights Amendment
 
"Through activist courts and the threat of ratifying the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), big government intrudes on families more and more. Already, the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing of their children has greatly eroded in federal courts and in such settings as public schools, local libraries, and your doctor’s office." -- Michael Farris, president, ParentalRights.org

The only solution to the attack on the child-parent relationship is the Parental Rights Amendment -- securing the rights of parents to raise their children. 

Only a constitutional amendment will ensure that the courts of our nation protect the fundamental right of parents to raise their children. And only a constitutional amendment will override international law that seeks to undermine the parental role. As the only complete solution to the danger confronting the child-parent relationship, the Parental Rights Amendment will place current Supreme Court doctrine protecting parental rights into the explicit text of the Constitution. Only the Parental Rights Amendment completely eliminates all threats to the child-parent relationship. It is the only comprehensive response to the attack on parental rights across our nation.

Below is the draft text for the Parental Rights Amendment.
View the annotated version here.


DRAFT PARENTAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT
FOR THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

SECTION 1
The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right.

SECTION 2
Neither the United States nor any state shall infringe upon this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served. This article shall not be construed to protect actions or decisions to end the life of any child, born or unborn.

SECTION 3
No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.


QUICK FACTS ON AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION

  • Only a constitutional amendment will ensure that parental rights will be honored in the United States, and protected from the threat of international law.
  • Only 33 amendments have ever been passed by Congress, and of these, only 27 have been ratified by the states.
  • Passing an amendment takes supporters at every level of government – in Congress, in committees, and in the states. Every American can play a vital role in this process by signing the petition and involving others in this campaign.

A constitutional amendment will ensure that judges who are currently denying parental rights will be obligated to recognize them. It will ensure that judges who are presently refusing to recognize parental rights because of their lack of explicit protection within the Constitution will instead safeguard parental rights.

The founders of this country created a nation ruled by laws, not men. Placing parental rights into the text of the Constitution ensures that law will defend the American family. A constitutional amendment will shield the child-parent relationship from government intrusion, regardless of who sits on the Supreme Court.

Not only does an amendment adequately address the threat posed by judges who refuse to recognize parental rights, but it also meets head-on the threat against the child-parent relationship posed by international law.

HOW AN AMENDMENT PROTECTS THE FAMILY FROM INTERNATIONAL LAW

As a legally binding international treaty, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is capable of permanently altering the role of the parent within the American family. If ratified, the UNCRC becomes the law of the land, unable to be held in check by state or national legislation. The only way to protect the rights of parents from the destructive policies contained in the UNCRC is through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Presently, except in cases where a parent has been proven to be "unfit," American law presumes that the parent is acting in the best interests of the child, and defers to that parent's decision. The UNCRC, in contrast, supplants this traditional presumption in favor of parents with a new presumption in favor of the state.

The Senators who originally opposed the ratification of the UNCRC when it was originally signed by President Clinton in 1995 believed that the Convention marked a significant departure from the American concept of the relationship between state and child, and was incompatible with the right of parents to raise their children.

The only way to protect the vital role of parents from this cataclysmic shift is through amending the U.S. Constitution to reflect current Supreme Court doctrine which preserves the right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children.

That's why the Parental Rights Amendment is so important. If passed, the Parental Rights Amendment will protect and preserve the vital child-parent relationship for generations to come.

WHY NOW?

The judges on the Supreme Court will change over time, but the law will not. If the U.S. Constitution is amended to secure parental rights, the vital child-parent relationship will be effectively shielded from intrusion by the government.

Amending the constitution is an enormous task—requiring time, resources, vision, dedication, and hardworking people who will make it happen. But it is not impossible.

Timing is everything. Parental rights are in an uncertain state within the federal courts, and danger is on the way. In only a matter of time, international law could erase the rights that most American parents take for granted. That’s why time is of the essence. We can’t afford to wait until parental rights are gone before seeking to defend them—now is the time to take action.

You can play a vital role in the process of amending the Constitution by joining with ParentalRights.org in the fight to protect children and parents. If you believe that the vital role of parents in the lives of their children should be protected and preserved, then we need your participation in the campaign to pass the Parental Rights Amendment!

Sign the petition now to protect children by empowering parents, and recruit your friends to join the fight. 

Rebekah Pizana | National Coalition Director | ParentalRights.org | 540.645.9475 (c)
P.O. Box 1090, Purcellville, Virginia 20134 | Email: rebekah@parentalrights.org

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April 9, 2014

Keep Calling for Parental Rights

Last week we asked you to call your congressman and encourage him or her to support the Parental Rights Amendment by becoming a cosponsor of HJRes. 50. But the House is scheduled to launch a two-week spring recess on Friday.

So for the next two days we need to redouble our efforts.

Please take a moment and call your congressman again, urging support for HJRes. 50, the Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

You can find your congressman’s contact information by clicking on your state at parentalrights.org/states. Or you can ask for their office by name through the Capitol Switchboard, 202-224-3121.

If you don’t know what to say, you can find a sample message in last week’s newsletter available online here.

Pelletier Update

There have been no official changes to the Pelletier case. Justina remains an official ward of the state as decided in Judge Joseph Johnston’s family court on March 25. The family is scheduled to return to court in June.

However, efforts outside his courtroom are ongoing. Liberty Counsel, which represents the Pelletier parents, has alluded to the possibility of an appeal to federal courts or to the Massachusetts Supreme Court. They have also mentioned the possibility of filing for a writ of habeas corpus in a federal court – that is, an order by the federal court requiring that the state of Massachusetts immediately surrender Justina Pelletier back into her parents’ care.

Additionally, a bill has been submitted to the Massachusetts legislature to demand Justina’s immediate release by the state. And then there is our own bill, yet to be introduced, which would protect the right of parents who are following medical advice by one physician, from being charged with medical neglect for disagreeing with treatment prescribed by another physician.

While Liberty Counsel works in the courtroom, we will continue to work in the halls of the legislature to protect the right of parents like the Pelletiers to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children.

Of course, the best solution is the Parental Rights Amendment. So please take a moment now to call, and then to pass this email on to anyone you think would be interested. Working together, we can protect children by empowering parents against an intrusive, power-hungry government.

Sincerely,
Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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April 2, 2014

Call on Congress to Stop the Madness!

The horrific state kidnapping case of Justina Pelletier has gained tremendous attention all over the country. And while we have made ourselves available to Liberty Counsel (as they represent the Pelletiers) and worked with several allies to draft and promote a bill in the Massachusetts legislature to stop such abuses in the future, there is still only one way to legally halt this tyranny against parents once and for all.

The proposed Parental Rights Amendment (PRA), HJRes. 50, would place into the text of the U.S. Constitution that the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their child is a fundamental right. Further, it would protect this liberty at the federal or the state level with “strict scrutiny,” the highest legal standard of review.

Under the proposed PRA, cases like Justina’s – where a child is taken from parents with no finding of imminent harm, abuse, or neglect – would virtually become a thing of the past.

Let’s face it: Parents should not be afraid to take their child to the emergency room!

That’s just one reason leaders on the resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives have set in motion a plan to get the PRA before the House Judiciary Committee for a formal hearing in the upcoming months. But we need your help.

Right now, 72 members of Congress have cosponsored HJRes50. That’s a respectable number, but not nearly as many as we need if we are looking for a committee hearing.

So we need to get your congressman on board.

Action Item: Call Blitz!

Please take a moment today – and maybe three times a week for the next two weeks – to call your congressman’s office and urge him to sign on. (To see if your congressman is already a cosponsor, check our list at 4pra.us/house.)

Your message can be as simple as the following, in your own words (you might consider using only one of the three examples provided):

I am deeply troubled by the state of parental rights in America. Justina Pelletier’s parents lost custody to Massachusetts because one doctor disagreed with another on her medical diagnosis. Sarah Herschberger’s parents had to flee the country with her to protect her health and preserve their parental rights. And while parents and even the NEA are opposed to the rise of Common Core, the courts have now determined in the Romeike case that parents don’t have a prior right to determine the type of education their children receive.

With these and other stories drawing such attention to the parental rights issue, I would strongly urge my congressman to take immediate action by cosponsoring HJRes 50, the proposed Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The liberty of parents to make decisions for their children is so fundamental that this Amendment shouldn’t even be necessary, but clearly it is.

I would be very disappointed if my own congressman won’t support the right of innocent parents to raise their children without government interference. Please contact Mark Meadows’ office and sign on as a cosponsor right away. Thank you.


You can reach your congressman through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or find their contact information by clicking on your state at ParentalRights.org/States. (Or use our shortcut: just type 4pra.us/ followed by the two-letter abbreviation for your state. For instance, 4pra.us/ks will take you to our Kansas page.)

Right now we have 72 cosponsors. Let’s see how many we can add by April 15. Together we can preserve the liberty of parents to protect their children – but even working together it will not be easy.

Thank you for standing with us and calling to encourage your lawmakers to stand up for your rights as well!

Sincerely,
Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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March 26, 2014

Justina Now a "Permanent Ward;" Time to Empower Escape

Throughout history, parents have had to escape when their children were threatened. Consider Sarah Hershberger of Ohio, whose parents escaped with her to Mexico late last year to protect her from hospital-ordered chemotherapy that has not been approved for children by the FDA.

Consider the Romeikes, who escaped Germany in 2008 to protect their children from state-run schools that violate the family’s religious beliefs.

Consider Justina Pelletier, imprisoned by the state of Massachusetts for over a year. Yesterday, the judge awarded “permanent custody” to Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF), for no conceivable reason.

I wish we were in a position to mastermind her physical escape from the state’s clutches and send her home.

We cannot impersonate Seal Team Six against DCF, but with your help, we can do much more for many more families: We can protect their children in the first place.

Michael Farris was asked by those involved in the Pelletier case to help draft a bill now in the Massachusetts legislature to stop these abuses. But we need your help to keep the effort going.

That’s why right now through our March 31 fiscal year-end only, we are offering a free print of the painting Rest on the Flight into Egypt with your one-time donation of $50 or more. Even better, the first 400 people to donate $100 or more will receive a print signed by the artist.

Donations must be made online by 11:59 p.m. PDT on March 31, or postmarked by March 31 and received in our office by April 7 to receive this offer.

A Portrait of Parental Protection

Classical painter Charles DeAntonio painted Rest on the Flight into Egypt especially for the parental rights cause. He chose this subject for its powerful display of parents escaping to protect an endangered child.

According to the Bible, King Herod sought to destroy the young Christ before he could grow into the promised King of Israel. But God warned Jesus’s parents in a dream, and Joseph led the escape into Egypt. There the child grew in safety until Herod’s death.

Please give today to help us finish our fiscal year strong and stop the Massachusetts insanity -- and bring home this beautiful picture of parents’ sacrifice to keep their child safe.

Sincerely,
Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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Maryland Notice: A copy of ParentalRights.Org’s financial statement is available by request to ParentalRights.Org at the address below.

Virginia Notice: A financial statement is available from the State Office of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services upon request.

Washington Notice: The registration statement required by the Charitable Solicitation Act is on file with the Washington Secretary of State.

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March 19, 2014

When Will the Pelletier Nightmare End?

The latest hearing in the Pelletier case decided nothing. Judge Johnston of the Suffolk County Juvenile Court in Boston on Monday declared that he will decide by the end of the week on a motion by parents Lou and Linda Pelletier that their daughter Justina be returned to their care. So they continue to wait.

The Pelletier Nightmare imposed by Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) has to end sometime. But “When?” is the crucial question, especially given its negative impact on Justina’s health.

In an earlier ruling, Judge Johnston ordered that Justina’s medical care be returned to Tufts Medical Center, where doctors years ago diagnosed her with mitochondrial disease and were successfully treating its symptoms. Until that order, she was languishing under the care of Boston Children’s, who insisted her issues were not medical but psychological. Unfortunately DCF, who still have custody of Justina, have yet to return her to Tufts for treatment.

“Our goal is to get Justina home with her parents as soon as possible,” says attorney Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “This case has been kicked down the road long enough. DCF has obstructed every effort to return Justina home. We will use every legal means available to end this nightmare the family has been living for the past 14 months.”

Liberty Counsel is a legal organization working with the Pelletiers’ lawyers, though Judge Johnston has not yet acknowledged Staver as an official attorney on the case. Staver’s comments are taken from a March 18 Liberty Counsel release.

Meanwhile, efforts continue in the Massachusetts legislature to pass a bill that would prevent this kind of “institutional kidnapping” from taking place in the future. One bill drafted with input from our own Michael Farris would prevent DCF from accusing a family of medical abuse for following the orders and diagnosis of their licensed medical practitioner – as DCF did in the present case. Another bill will protect parental rights in every setting as a “fundamental right” demanding “strict scrutiny” protection.

We will continue to keep you posted on the Pelletier case as we receive more information, and we will continue to work at the state level to promote good laws that protect parents from this kind of family intrusion. Thank you for standing with us in the effort!

Brief Survey Can Also Help Halt Nightmares

The Pediatric Justice Association, “a national nonprofit organization with the purpose to protect children’s rights to medical care and eliminate discrimination against children with rare or undiagnosed diseases,” is conducting a survey in conjunction with the University of North Carolina at Wilmington to determine hurdles parents face in getting their child the diagnoses they need.

In light of the Pelletier case above, perhaps this study cannot come soon enough.

If you have a child under the age of 19, please take 5-10 minutes to participate in this anonymous survey.

The Pediatric Justice Association is an allied organization supporting parental rights.

Thank you for standing with us as we strive to educate and equip parents with the legal tools they need in the fight for their parental rights.

Sincerely,
Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

 

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March 11, 2014

Michael Farris on The Romeike Aftermath

Other than the Romeike family themselves, no one could have been more thrilled than me with the sudden reversal from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which allowed them to remain in the United States. Just one day after the Supreme Court refused to review the court order that demanded their deportation to Germany, the Romeikes were informed by DHS that they could remain indefinitely in the United States where they can continue to homeschool their children.

The DHS notification came to attorney Will Humble, who was the immigration lawyer assisting the Romeikes and HSLDA at all phases of these proceedings. Humble was lead counsel before the administrative judge, and I was lead counsel before the federal courts.

This administrative victory needs to be understood for what it is. It is a victory for the Romeike family alone. No other German homeschooling family can benefit from the administrative grace that was shown in this one instance.

Despite this welcome relief for this one courageous family, the damage done to our laws on asylum and the principles of religious and parental freedom remains.

We cannot slip into complacency and believe that all is well on all fronts. The dangers latent in this case must be understood, combatted, and reversed.

Some court decisions contain language that presents a self-evident danger to liberty. Other times the dangers are much more subtle. For example, in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States (1935), the Court held that Congress could not regulate commerce once goods had come to rest within a state. It could only regulate commerce while in transit and—with words that launched a thousand regulations—those things that “directly affect” commerce. The “effects test” has been used by Congress, the Supreme Court, and the executive branch to impose countless regulations on all manner of activity that would otherwise be outside of federal jurisdiction.

The dangers to liberty that are embedded in the Romeike case are equally subtle. One has to take a closer look at the facts in the record, the arguments of the Obama Justice Department, and the decision of the Sixth Circuit to fully appreciate the very dangerous ideas that were embraced in this case.

But once these dangerous ideas are unmasked, it becomes apparent that they pose real threats to the principles of freedom that virtually all Americans would have believed were solidly established.

Read Michael Farris's full analysis online here.

...

The more pressing issue is the need to address parental rights in general. At the same time that the Romeikes were facing deportation, other pitched parental rights battles in our own country were taking place. Perhaps the best known of these battles was the Pelletier case in Massachusetts.

I was asked to draft a specific statute that has been introduced in Massachusetts to fix the underlying law in that state.

Read Farris's "How Should We Respond?" online here.

...

Stand up. Speak up. Show up.

Sincerely,

Michael Farris, J.D., LL.M.
President

 

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