Parental Rights Already Being Lost

Supporters of a plan to amend the U.S. Constitution to include parental rights are warning moms and dads across the United States they already are losing their rights to make decisions regarding their children’s health, education, welfare, finances, sex education, access to abortion and even leisure time.

“The erosion is upon us,” said Michael Farris, founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association, a college and a church and now a dedicated leader in the effort to change the U.S. Constitution through the amendment process to restore and protect parental rights.

Eighty years ago, the amendment website notes, “the Supreme Court declared that ‘the child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.'”

However, according to Farris, a survey last year of state and federal appellate court rulings found “the vast majority of the court decisions refused to acknowledge traditional parental rights are fundamental rights.”

The problem, says Farris, is the growing reach of domestic and international government into decisions about health, education, discipline and other issues that for millennia have been made by parents. In one recent case in the South, the parents of a 13-year-old juvenile were refused access to his medical records because the doctor decided against including the parents in the discussion.

According to Farris, the parents could only be granted access to their son’s medical records with their son’s permission.

“The Supreme Court has so muddied the waters … the growing practice is to treat parenting as a government privilege,” he said.

In another case that outraged parents, a federal court ruled that parents do not even have the right to withdraw their children from public school teachings that violate their religious beliefs.

Farris says the solution is the Parental Rights Amendment, which would embed in the Constitution the description of parental rights as fundamental.

“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,” the draft states. “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.”

Farris said the amendment proposal, which already has about 80 co-sponsors in Congress, is moving “faster then we thought we would.”

Some of the key leaders in the GOP have signed onto the campaign, citing parental rights as a top concern. Democrat support has been far less, but the group has seen a large number of signs that the grassroots are becoming alarmed, pushing county and state officials to action.

Both the GOP and Democrats will be paying more attention as the groundswell of support expands, he said.

The local alarm is being raised on a number of converging issues, including the Food and Drug Administration’s new decision to allow 17-year-old juveniles to purchase abortion pills over the counter. Also among the concerns are a long list of challenges to parents who want to homeschool their own children and medical information disputes.

Critics also point to a developing propensity for U.S. judges in cite foreign law in deciding domestic cases, because of the fundamentally different foundations on which other nations base their laws.

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