With the future of parental rights in serious doubt among religious Americans, Republicans in Congress just introduced a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would enshrine the rights of parents to direct the upbringing, care, and education of their children.
While the amendment seems to be common sense, lawmakers and activists supporting it say such freedoms are no longer a guarantee in the modern political climate.
Introduced by Representative Randy Hultgren (R-Il.), the Parental Rights Amendment (PRA) is a win for parents who deserve the authority to raise their children. According to Representative Hultgren, “The freedom for parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is an American tradition once established beyond debate. Yet every day, families are broken apart by state actors who presume they are able to make a better decision for a child than a parent can. With recent state laws and court decisions threatening this American value, it is time parental rights are enshrined as fundamental rights and therefore protected under the Constitution.”
In addition to granting American parents the right to make choices for their children, the proposed amendment also protects the rights of Americans against any international treaties falsely trying to infringe upon them.
The full text of the amendment is included below:
“SECTION 1. The liberty of parents to direct the up-bringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right; SECTION 2. Neither the United States nor any state shall infringe this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest, as applied to the person, is of the highest order and not otherwise served; SECTION 3. This article shall not be construed to apply to a parental action or decision that would end life; SECTION 4. 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.”
The amendment requires a two-thirds vote in each house of Congress to make it to the individual states for ratification. This does not seem to be an issue, as it has already received unprecedented support from co-sponsors, with more anticipated support in the near future.
Representative Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), who is the chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s Constitution Subcommittee is confident that they will get the support they need to pass the PRA.
“I intend to continue that fight in my role as Chairman of the Constitution Subcommittee, doing everything in my power to help advance the vital Parental Rights Amendment through Congress,” said Franks. “Nothing is more important to America’s future than making sure that the education of the hearts and minds of our children is securely in the purview of the parents who love and understand them most.”
Jim Mason, President of ParentalRights.org, said he is thrilled the legislation is making such progress.
“We are grateful to Representative Hultgren for taking up this vital issue before Congress,” he said. “Parental rights is a crucial battle that too few are talking about. Every other question, whether of politics, religion, values, or ideology, hinges on the right of good parents to raise their children in a way that is true to them.”
The support was reiterated in both the House and Senate as well. According to constitutional attorney Michael Farris, “Just about every member of Congress agrees with the legal principle that parents have the fundamental right to make decisions for the upbringing of their children. The PRA had 141 co-sponsors in the House during the last session of Congress, but we expect to see even more support this time around.”
Shaun Alexander, former NFL MVP and vice president of ParentalRights.org, agrees that this Amendment is important to the American family.
“I am still amazed with how much authority the courts have over parents’ rights today,” he said. “With the Parental Rights Amendment now introduced in both houses of Congress, we can begin to push back and win for all parents’ authority for how to raise their own children. The Parental Rights Amendment will protect the greatest team ever assembled—the family.”
~ 1776 Christian