"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
noranystateshallinfringeuponthisrightwithoutdemonstratingthatitsgovernmentalinterest 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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National Parental Rights Week

-- July 14, 2015

National Parental Rights Week begins this Monday, July 20, and runs through National Parents’ Day, Sunday, July 26. We’ve been talking about it for weeks. Now it’s time to carry out your family’s plan to enlist at least 16 new signers to the ParentalRights.org petition.

To help you with your mission, we’d like to introduce you to our newest one-page parental rights presentation, an all new revision of Why We Need an Amendment. One side of this document provides a simple explanation of the ground-shiftingTroxel v. Granville Supreme Court decision that put parental rights in danger. The other side contains three clear and simple examples of how this erosion of parental rights is carried out in day-to-day America.

You can print out a copy of the new Why We Need an Amendment here.

Then, grab your all-new ParentalRights.org petition herePrint out two or three or even more – as many as you can fill.

Let me urge you to try to fill at least one. That’s only 16 names. If everyone on our list tried to fill one sheet and failed by halfour voice would still be over a million strong!

Once you’ve collected the support of your family and friends, just mail the petition sheet(s) to the address on the bottom of the form: P.O. Box 1090 Purcellville, VA 20134.

August Recess

Following close on the heels of National Parental Rights Week is Congress’s August Recess. That’s the time each year when your congressmen and senators leave D.C. and come to work in their district offices to be available to hear from you directly.

We will be providing more details in the next two weeks, including materials to take with you and questions you may need to ask. But now is the time to start setting up an appointment to meet your lawmakers while they are home and ask them to support the Parental Rights Amendment.

So pick a date and time, contact your lawmaker’s local office (click on your state atparentalrights.org/states to find links to your lawmakers’ websites), and ask for 10 minutes of your representative’s time.

If you can get a small group to go with you, that is even better. You might even enlist a group of volunteers to join you as you are gathering your signatures for National Parental Rights Week!

Working together, we can make these next few weeks an historically exciting period in the growth of the parental rights movement!

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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“What a Child Lacks”

-- July 8, 2015

In its 1979 parental rights decision Parham v. J.R., the United States Supreme Court declared, “The law’s concept of the family rests on the presumption that parents possess what a child lacks in maturity, experience, and capacity for judgment required for making life’s difficult decisions.” Unfortunately, a bill recently passed by the New Jersey legislature completely throws out this presumption.

Assembly bill 3435 (A3435), “The Boys and Girls Clubs Keystone Law,” adds to New Jersey law that “when a minor believes that he or she is in need of behavioral health care services for the treatment of mental illness or emotional disorders, the minor’s consent to treatment…shall be valid and binding as if the minor had achieved the age of majority.”

This is scary enough if it puts a 16- or 17-year-old in the position to make such a serious and difficult health decision. But under this irresponsible bill, a child of any age could give legally binding consent for such treatments. There is no requirement for parental consent or even notification – for any child!

Of course, when we learned of A3435 we urged New Jersey supporters to call for its defeat and, more recently, for Governor Christie to veto it. So far, he has not done so.

Sadly, this bill reflects the growing dangerous trend of cutting parents out of the lives of their children. The new “wisdom” seems to hold that children are best left up to government experts or, barring that, their own devices.

It is the same argument used by the internationalists who push for the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). They argue for children’s rights to make their own decisions and not be “burdened” by the superior wisdom and experience of their parents.

But that isn’t really the way life works. At some point, that decision is going to be made by an adult, whether it is the parent or an agent of the state.

The Parham Court recognized that dichotomy. “Simply because the decision of a parent is not agreeable to a child, or because it involves risks, does not automatically transfer the power to make that decision from parents to some agency or officer of the state,” Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote for the Court. “Most children, even in adolescence, simply are not able to make sound judgments concerning many decisions, including their need for medical care or treatment. Parents can and must make those judgments” (emphasis added).

The internationalists recognize the dichotomy, too – and simply hope the rest of us don’t notice. In speaking of the CRC’s “best interest of the child” provision, international legal scholar and CRC advocate Geraldine Van Bueren writes, “Best interests provides decision and policy makers with the authority to substitute their own decisions for either the child’s or the parents’, providing it is based on considerations of the best interest of the child.”

So if the parents and the child disagree in court, the judge gets to make the final call – not the child. What’s more, under the “best interest” principle, the judge still gets to make the call even if the parent and child agree with each other, but happen to both disagree with the state.

In neither system, then, does the child get to make his own decisions. He lacks the mental and emotional capacity to do so. In the traditional American system, the parents are the safeguard to fill that lack and protect their child. In the new internationalist norm, the State is responsible to second-guess the child “for his own good.”

A3435 claims to let the child stand or fall completely on his own. But at some point, unless we protect the traditional role of parents, it will be an agent of the State who ultimately gets to decide. We agree with Chief Justice Burger: “Parents can and must make those judgments.”

Action Items

If you live in New Jersey, please take a moment to read our action alert here and call on Governor Christie to veto this dangerous legislation.

And wherever you live, plan now to participate in National Parental Rights Week beginning July 20. To take part, plan with your family or friends how you can fill up one petition sheet (just 16 signatures!) of new supporters of the Parental Rights effort. Will you host a car wash? A barbecue? Or maybe just go door-to-door? Maybe you can reach out to folks at church, or sign up other parents of your child’s summer sports team.

However you choose to join in, know that standing together we can protect children – like those in New Jersey – by empowering parents to make those hard decisions with them and on their behalf. Parents, not bureaucrats, will best decide what is right for their child.

Thank you for standing with us in this all-important battle!

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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Parental Rights to Return to Supreme Court?

-- July 1, 2015

It’s a dilemma faced by too many already: What do you do when a social worker and a deputy stand at your door and tell you, “Let us in to look around, or we will remove your child(ren)?” According to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the ultimatum does not constitute coercion. If you let them in your house, you have done so willingly and waived your Fourth Amendment rights in the process.

The Supreme Court of Illinois, which in the 1970’s declared that “the termination of parental rights is the ‘death sentence’ of the family courts,” might strongly disagree. So do our allies at the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which is why they are appealing the ruling to the United States Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court reviews hundreds of cases every year for appeal and only selects to hear a few of those, so there is no guarantee that Loudermilk v. Arpaio will be heard. HSLDA, however, filed a petition for writ of certiorari last week seeking the Court’s attention.

“The Loudermilk case is key because the Supreme Court has never ruled that state social services employees cannot use a threat to remove children to coerce entry,” HSLDA said in a statement. But such a threat seems to be a standard technique used to separate scared and confused parents from their children without a warrant or imminent danger.

Background

The case began in 2006 with an anonymous tip to Arizona Social Services. Two months after the call came in, a social services worker and several deputies arrived at the home of John and Tiffany Loudermilk, where the social services worker issued the ultimatum.

While it is hard to reconcile that two month delay to any claim of imminent danger to the children, nevertheless the social services worker began writing up the paper work while the Loudermilks wrestled with their decision. Finally, afraid of the trauma that removal would cause to their children, John and Tiffany permitted the search.

Deputies and the social worker conducted their search, found that the anonymous tip had been unwarranted, and left the home.

Traumatized by their experience, the Loudermilks chose to sue in order to stop the injustice from happening to so many others. When the trial court agreed that the case against the social services worker and the deputies could go to trial, the deputies appealed to the U.S. Ninth Circuit, who granted them immunity.

You read that right: immunity for the people who invaded the Loudermilk’s home without warrant or imminent threat, yet under color of law.

HSLDA is dedicated to seeing the decision overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court if possible, to protect the Fourth Amendment rights of all parents.

What Can We Do?

The fledgling Parental Rights Foundation is working toward being able to take up cases like these to further your parental rights. You can make a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation here.

Of course, HSLDA is already working on such cases when they involve home schooling or often a home schooling family. You can visit their page on this case (and donate to them if you wish) through this link.

Other Updates

Last week we challenged you to help us reach 70,000 Facebook page likes in response to the email. On the day the email went out we added 649 new followers, and a total of over 1,000 through Monday – meaning we reached our goal with 70,249! Thank you and congratulations on this excellent work!

Now we’d like to ask you to keep it up. Please continue to share our page with a few key Facebook friends and encourage them to follow us for updates on your parental rights issues.

Also, please remember that July 20-26 is National Parental Rights Week. Continue to work out your family’s plan to secure at least one petition sheet – 16 signatures – in support of the Parental Rights Amendment. You can print out the petition sheethere.

Thank you for standing with us in all these many ways as we work to protect our children and families by adopting the Parental Rights Amendment.

And Happy Independence Day from all of us at ParentalRights.org!

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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Help Needed at Home School Conventions
July 1, 2015

ParentalRights.org’s California chapter is seeking volunteers to staff the exhibitor table at two upcoming home school conventions. These tables provide visibility to our organization in the effort to make more Californians aware of the need for the Parental Rights Amendment.

The first opportunity is the convention of the Christian Home Educators Association(CHEA) in Pasadena July 16-18.

The second opportunity is the Valley Home Educators convention in Modesto on July 24-25. (Click the links for more convention information.)

If you would be willing to spend a few hours staffing the table at either or both of these events, or if you have questions, please contact State Volunteer Coordinator Joe Justus at josephjustus@parentalrightsca.org.

Staffing a booth does not require a lot of special skills or knowledge. Friendliness is the biggest requirement. A lot of questions people may ask will be answered in the literature available at the table, or can be answered by pointing them to the website. You know why you support ParentalRights.org – that is generally enough.

Of course, if you can already articulate a firm understanding of parental rights issues, you will get to exercise that skill as well.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this request, and for the favor of a quick response to Joe if you can help!

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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On the Brink of a Game Changer for Parental Rights

-- June 24, 2015

The delay of our Summer Power Sweep has yielded its first dividend, and though I still must remain vague on the details I can report that we have secured our first commitment from a Democrat to cosponsor the Parental Rights Amendment(PRA) in the U.S. House! This is one small piece in a larger puzzle, but it is a positive step toward a real game changer in our parental rights effort.

Those who have been with us for a while will recall that although parental rights efforts at the state level have consistently been bipartisan, Congress has been a different story. At one point we had 141 cosponsors in the House, of which 140 were Republicans. In Washington’s “party-first” atmosphere that was 140 reasons for Democrats to say, “No, thank you,” without even considering the language we proposed.

For those who have been wondering, this has been the reason for delaying ourSummer Power Sweep – to make sure the PRA starts out on bipartisan footing this time around. And we are now a major step closer to that goal.

But that’s not all. We are seeing other in-roads as well.

Last week, David Miranda and I attended the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Columbus, Ohio, where we had opportunity to talk with hundreds of pastors and leaders of other organizations. As a result of our week, ParentalRights.org will soon be sitting down with the public policy arm of the nation’s largest protestant denomination, as well. And the potential of even one of these pastors to influence an entire community for our cause cannot be measured or guessed.

In short, any one of the hundreds we talked to could turn out to be yet another game changer in our favor.

David and I then finished our week at the Mitochondrial Disease Conference in Herndon, Virginia, where we met dozens of families affected by this misunderstood disease. A majority of these parents will be accused of medical abuse or neglect at some point in their child’s medical journey. They understand just how vital their parental rights are.

Organizationally, they also have the ear of the bipartisan Mitochondrial Disease Caucus in Congress. That group is currently made up of 7 Republicans and almost twice as many Democrats. Securing the support of some of these on the Parental Rights Amendment, which the Mito community may help us to do, would be another game changer for the PRA.

Action Items

With the Summer Power Sweep still on hold, what can you do to further the cause of parental rights?

As I write this, 69,052 Facebook users are fans of our ParentalRights.org page. We would like to hit just 70,000 as a direct result of this email. So please take a moment if you haven’t already to “like” our page. And if you already have, please share it to a few select friends and ask them to “like” us as well. It may seem like a small thing, but Facebook is a growing platform for us, and one we can use to reach many more Americans with the need to protect their parental rights.

And if you haven’t already, why not download the petition here and see if you can find a few friends to help you fill up a page? Don’t forget to make plans for National Parental Rights Week starting July 20, too, with a goal of at least filling one page (16 signatures) to increase our reach for this vital cause.

This is our best chance to pass the Parental Rights Amendment. Let us work to make the most of it!

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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Power Sweep, Pastors, and Parental Rights

-- June 16, 2015

Our Summer Power Sweep doesn’t look like I envisioned it, but it sure does look exciting!

I hinted a couple of weeks ago that we might have to shift our plans to shoot higher than we had dreamed. We are still working on that, but many details are falling into place.

The fact is, while we have not lost sight of the original plan, our efforts are also being pushed in other directions – including toward pastors.

Let me be clear: ParentalRights.org is not a religious organization, and the parental rights issue is not exclusively for people of faith. Hopefully by now we have made it evident that we are all in this together, regardless of your faith or practice.

If you don’t attend a house of worship, I would ask you to bear with me for a moment; I have a message for all of you.

Still, there is considerable historical precedent for great change when pastors start to mobilize their congregations, from the pastors of the American Revolution to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his colleagues in the 1950’s civil rights movement.

In recent and coming weeks, our Director of Government and Public Affairs Martin Brown, along with Frederick Douglass Foundation Vice President Dean Nelson, is speaking with groups of pastors ranging from 2 or 3 to about 150 at a time on the issue of parental rights. This week, I and Grassroots Director David Miranda are attending the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Columbus to talk with several thousand more pastors. And in the weeks ahead, David will attend the Sword of the Lord pastors conference, while he and Martin will represent us at the Conference on Evangelizing Black America.

In short, a lot of pastors will be hearing from us about the need to protect parental rights. But we are not the best way to energize your pastor on this issue.

You are.

If you’re not in a faith community, that doesn’t mean you can’t help the parental rights cause. You know as well as anyone that the church doesn’t hold the same political clout in America that it once did. But that just means we need to reach the people in your circles as well.

David and I will spend the end of this week at the National Mito Conference in Herndon, VA. There we will talk parental rights to families like Justina Pelletier’s whose medical rights are threatened because their child suffers from an often misunderstood disease. That is a circle that Georgia volunteer Mary Beth Morris was able to get us into, a circle of people who need our Amendment and can help us achieve it.

The simple point is this: Whatever circles you are in, you can be the crucial connection that lights the fire of parental rights to cut the darkness of ignorance and misinformation currently plaguing our country. People are not engaged in the issue of parental rights because they just don’t know it exists.

How often has this happened to you? You tell one of our accounts, only to hear,“There must be more to it. They don’t just take kids away from innocent parents.” And you don't know whether to laugh or cry.

It is time to pull the blinders off, and you are just the one to do it!

Action Items

If you are in a congregation, you are the most powerful way to reach your pastor. Perhaps you can share with him and with your congregation our new Father’s Day bulletin insert available here. Or encourage him to visit our website and read more about this threat to parents. And invite him to email DavidM@parentalrights.orgto sign up for Dave’s special pastors email list.

You might also point out that when the government gets to decide what parents can or can’t teach their children, it is only a matter of time before the local house of worship will close its doors for good.

But whatever circles you’re in, you can find documents to help you spread the word at parentalrights.org/documents. Let me especially encourage you to check out the current State of Parental Rights in America available here in pdf format.

Working together, we can awaken America to this threat. We can raise an army to fight the wave of parental rights violations that are taking over our news feeds. And we can secure the Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, protecting children by empowering parents once and for all!

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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AMA Lobby Opposes Parental Rights

-- June 9, 2015

The American Medical Association (AMA) on Monday voted to oppose religious or philosophical exemptions for childhood vaccinations, in what its members hope will be a determinative blow against informed consent and a parent’s right to protect the bodily integrity of their child.

Two states already deny parents and children these rights under law. Neither Mississippi nor West Virginia allow for a religious or philosophical exemption by law. These states coincidentally both rank at the very bottom in both education (43rd and 50th) and economic (50th and 45th) outcomes, but suddenly the AMA finds them “cutting-edge.”

A bill in California (SB277) is being steam-rolled through the legislature in a rush to outlaw parental conscience in that state as well, which in part has fueled the AMA’s decision.

"We have a bill presently in California at the state legislature to remove all non-medical exemptions. We're worried that weak AMA policy will [affect] the California state legislature," admitted California AMA delegate Mark H. Kogan, MD, according to MedPageToday.

Ironically, the discussion arose from a report by the AMA’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs and its Council on Science and Public Health that called for better education, not stronger mandates, to improve vaccine rates. According to an article at Modern Healthcare, the report called for state laws to provide “clear definitions of accepted grounds for non-medical exemptions that prudently limit such exemptions,” and “...fair, reasonable procedures for granting non-medical exemptions.”

But delegates voted to reject the study of their own councils to take “a strong position” on mandatory vaccines.

The American Medical Association is a trade and lobbying association of medical professionals in the United States. It is made of primarily of medical doctors, and its primary functions are to advise and to lobby on medical best-practices.

In decisions such as this one, the lobbying function has clearly trumped the medical one.

Different speakers cited in several articles argued that forced vaccinations are for the good of the public. None, however, explain how mandating vaccines for non-communicable diseases like tetanus affects anyone but the child receiving the shot. Yet tetanus is among the vaccines currently required under California law which will become mandatory without exemption if SB277 is passed.

A representative from the Infectious Disease Society of America not otherwise identified by MedPage Today is quoted as summing it up nicely: “The science has to trump some of the ethical personal freedoms,” he said.

Another deeply disturbing quote comes from Forbes, which reports, “The AMA said there is no scientific basis for non-medical exemptions….” But could we provide a “scientific basis” for our freedom of speech? Of religion? Of the press, or of due process?

One’s legal rights do not depend on “science,” a fact of constitutional and natural law the AMA seems to have missed.

Fortunately, not all delegates agreed with this “ethics-be-damned” approach to vaccination law. Dr. Ryan Hall is among those who spoke in favor of the original report.

“I think CEJA got it right,” Hall said. “If we really want to change the debate, the solution to bad speech is good speech. We as an organization should not be trying to trample the rights of others. People sometimes have the right to be foolish.”

Whether or not it is foolish to opt out of vaccines for one’s child is a question best left to parents to answer. With its decision on Monday, the AMA has taken a strong stand against your fundamental right to make decisions you believe are in the best interests of your child.

Perhaps you are one of those who in recent years have begun to feel that doctors are your adversaries and not your friends. On Monday that feeling moved one step closer to reality.

Action Items

1. Talk to your doctor right away. Find out how this latest AMA decision may impact your family’s relationship with their practice. It is a sad fact: your best defense against a false medical abuse claim is a solid relationship with your child’s doctor.

2. Spread the word and encourage your friends to sign up with ParentalRights.orgThe AMA is no small lobby. Their pockets are deep, and they are targeting your parental rights. If the effort to oppose SB 277 in California has taught us anything, it is that our voice must be overwhelming if we are to win.

Bulletin Insert for Father's Day

One way to spread the word could be to share our new bulletin insert with your house of worship this Father’s Day. The front-and-back, half-page insert features a short message from the Bible (for churches) or the Torah (for synagogues) and invites your congregation to visit ParentalRights.org. We have available a color orgrayscale version for churches and a color version for synagogues.

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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Rally Tuesday to Oppose SB 277
 
June 4, 2015

Senate Bill 277, proposed by Sen. Richard Pan, would remove the religious and philosophical exemption from California’s vaccination law. Parents opposed to vaccines would now have no recourse but to subject their child to the procedure anyway before their child could attend a public or private school in California.

This violates the constitutional principle that parents have the fundamental liberty to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children.

The question is not whether or not one supports vaccinations, but whether or not one supports the right of a parent (rather than the government) to make the medical decision they believe is best for their child. This right of bodily integrity for one’s self and one’s child simply should not be discarded lightly.

Sadly, this bill is being fast-tracked and parents are being steam-rolled. The bill implicates constitutional issues and has a direct impact on California’s public and private schools, yet it has not been assigned to either the Judiciary or the Education Committee in the Assembly.

If the Health Committee takes up this bill next week, they will likely vote on it in their 1:30 meeting on Tuesday.

So we are asking you to check your calendar and plan to attend a rally in Sacramento next Tuesday, June 9, to oppose this dangerous legislation. The rally will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the State Capitol, 1315 10th Street in Sacramento. Our allies will meet at the North stairs, march around the Capitol, and conclude at noon with a rally at the West stairs.

Proponents of the bill have apparently scheduled a rally for the same time, but the expectation is that opponents of the bill will out-number its supporters by a huge margin. A strong majority of Californians oppose this bill.

But we need your help to make sure that is the case.

In addition to the rally, supporters are being asked to go into the Capitol and speak to members of the Assembly, urging them to vote “No” on this legislation.

Action Items

1. If it is possible, please get to Sacramento on Tuesday to attend the rally.Attendees are also asked to wear red as a sign of solidarity against the bill.

2. Once in Sacramento, stick around to visit your Assembly member’s office and urge them to vote “No” on SB 277. Tell them you are concerned that the bill would infringe on fundamental parental rights and cause legal and constitutional issues for the State.

3. If you cannot get to Sacramento – and we know many of you can’t – then please email or call your Assemblyman right now and urge them to oppose this bill. You can find your Assembly member’s name and contact information here:http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/

Background

Current California law requires children entering public or private school (except home schools) to demonstrate that they have received vaccinations called for by the State. Students who have not been vaccinated may be excused from the requirement through one of two exemptions: a medical exemption for children who have had, or whom a doctor has medical reason to believe would have, an allergic reaction to a vaccination; or a religious and philosophical exemption, for children whose parents are opposed to getting vaccinations for their child on the basis of their convictions and beliefs.

SB 277, however, would remove the religious and philosophical exemption, though there is no evident reason to do so. There is no medical crisis, and vaccination rates remain strong.

Even under current law with the exemptions, California’s vaccination rate is above 90%. (source: California Dept. of Health) It is also well above the percentage that vaccination experts claim is necessary to provide “herd immunity.”

Even if you choose vaccines for your child, please stand with us in defending the right of other parents, not the government, to make this decision for their child. Parents in California should not have to choose between what they think is best for their child’s education and what they think is best for their child’s health.

Thank you for standing with us to defeat this disturbing bill.

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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P.O. Box 1090 Purcellville, VA 20134 * (540)-751-1200 * info@parentalrights.org

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Are You Ready to Engage for Parental Rights?

-- June 2, 2015

It is almost here.

We are taking the final steps toward introducing the Parental Rights Amendment (PRA) in this session of Congress. And this session will be like no other. In this session, we are pushing to fully pass the PRA in both the House and the Senate!

Now, I must warn you. There is a chance our Summer Power Sweep is about to be delayed. But if it is, it will be because an opportunity has come along that is so huge that we can’t ignore it – the kind of opportunity that will make our delay a wise investment of time.

And if it’s not delayed, well that’s good, too.

Either way, this is it! This is the push for which we have laid a solid foundation over the last 7 years.

So the question is, are you ready to engage?

Soon, we will be asking you to engage your congressman and your senators to get them on board. But until then, we still need to engage the community around us.

‘My 5’ for Parental Rights

As we wrap up our Mega-Month of May, I have to tell you the results were not what we hoped. We added far fewer to our list than our 10,000-person goal.

But we are still excited about the new tool we introduced a few weeks ago, ‘My 5’ for Parental Rights. So I’d like to challenge you now to fill out your 5 this month. And if you already did so in May, let me challenge you to get 5 more.

It’s really very simple, and you can find all the details here.

Also, if you enlisted your 5 last month, why not follow up with them and see if any of your new recruits might be able to enlist 5 of their own this month?

National Parental Rights Week July 20-26

Toward the same end, we have designated July 20-26 as “National Parental Rights Week.” We want to celebrate parental rights that week in three different ways.

First, if our Summer Power Sweep is on its original schedule, we will have a call blitzto urge your members of Congress (House and Senate) to sign on as PRA cosponsors.

Second, we will prepare fliers that you can share in your house of worship forParents’ Day on July 26. These fliers will alert those in your congregation to the threatened state of parental rights in America today.

Finally – and most importantly right now – we would challenge every one of you right now to set aside some time that week to fill up one petition page for parental rights.

That’s 16 names. And it’s 7 weeks away. That’s plenty of time to make a plan of action for you and your family to find and secure those 16 signatures.

Will you approach people at the baseball game? At church? Hold an old-fashioned, door-to-door petition drive in your neighborhood, or even across town? Or maybe talk to people in the supermarket parking lot? However you do it, we’re looking for just 16 names.

If that sounds too easy for you, then just print out extra petition sheets – as many as you need.

And if it sounds too ambitious, then plan to secure a “My 5” during that week. Just get the family together and do the very best you can. Every signature will help add voices to our own as we call on Congress to adopt the Amendment for parental rights.

So start your "My 5," make plans for National Parental Rights Week, and hang on. It's going to be one exciting summer!

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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P.O. Box 1090 Purcellville, VA 20134 * (540)-751-1200 * info@parentalrights.org

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