By Sen. Stephen West: This bill would affirm the rights of parents as “fundamental rights” and direct the courts to consider them so before they infringe on the rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children. Historically, parents’ rights have been considered fundamental, but recently there has been a trend of government cases that allow others to make decisions for children without parental knowledge. The bill requires that the state have a compelling interest (such as child abuse) before it, unnecessarily, undermines the family unit by restricting parents’ rights.
Advocates say: No one cares more for children than their parents. But, more and more bureaucrats and elected officials are deciding that the government, not the parent, is the one who makes decisions for a child.
Mandatory liberal sex education, abortions and cross-sex hormones treatments without parental knowledge, and claims of false “medical child abuse” have resulted in children being wrongly removed from loving homes. This bill still allows parents who violate the sacred trust of parenthood to loose authority over their children while ensuring a better balance so that government does not replace parents.
Opponents say: This law is dangerous. It protects bad parents. The United Nations has declared that children have rights to determine what they want and the government needs to enforce that. The government, educators, psychologists and other professionals study what is best for kids and they should be guiding children and helping them make their decisions. After all, “it takes a village” to raise a child. Children, especially teens, in consultation with these professionals should be able to make their own decisions and be self-determining without the interference of parents.
Prospect of Passage: Parents’ rights are basic, but many now favor government workers and professionals to preside. Let your voice be heard!