Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Victories, Setbacks, and Jenna Elfman: News from Parental Rights Ogranization

May 2015

Victory in Idaho

This year Idaho passed a new statute defending the fundamental right of parents to make decisions for their children.

North Carolina
  is well on its way to following suit. Eight other states already offer similar protections in state law.

Setback in Missouri

Sadly, similar legislation went down to defeat in Missouri last week, a victim of the partisan politics that cripples so much of our system.

HB 557 had passed the House with a veto-proof majority and had the support to see the same level of success in the Missouri Senate. Unfortunately, a Republican victory on a completely unrelated issue led the Democrats to filibuster and vow to block every other bill – including the bill to protect parental rights.

The Battle Continues in CA: Parental Rights VS Vaccinations

Meanwhile, a different kind of parental rights battle rages in California, with several other states poised to become similar battle grounds within the next year. The new aim: to remove any religious or philosophical exemption from mandatory vaccination requirements.

Unfortunately, “vaccine” has become such a hot-button word that it is often difficult to get past it to the real issue: whether parents or the state know what is best for a child.

In California, SB 277 threatens to remove from parents any right to exempt their child from state vaccination requirements or even to adjust the vaccine schedule to one they feel better meets their child’s needs. This means that parents opposed to vaccines or who have concerns for their child will have to choose between violating their conscience on the issue or forgoing public or even private schools for their child.

Many of you who home school may be tempted to wonder, “What’s the big deal?” But many others believe that public schools are the best – or even the only – education available for their child. Should anyone have to choose between their child’s best education and their child’s best health just because the state has decided they can’t have both?
Of course not.

Last week, actress Jenna Elfman weighed in on the issue, and I have to tell you – she really gets it. I don’t know that I would agree with her on a lot of her politics. Frankly, I don’t know a lot about her politics. But she certainly understands parental rights.

You can see the video here at Breitbart news. That’s a right-leaning site and the video quality is not terrific. But her comments are spot on. (We’ve also made a transcript available here.)
“‘To vaccinate or not to vaccinate’ is actually not the question,” she says.
“It’s a parental rights question that shouldn’t be a question.”

“I vaccinate my child, my children,” the actress known for her role as the ultra-hippy Dharma in t.v.’s Dharma and Greg (1997-2002) adds, “and I am against this bill…. It’s parental rights.”

When asked if this should be viewed as a Democrat or Republican issue, Elfman comes up with another sound-bite nugget:

“I think there’s Republican parents that would like rights to their children, there’s Democrat parents that want rights to their children. There’s Libertarian. I mean, it’s parents. We’re human beings. This is a human right – to raise your children the way you see fit.”

Action Items

Throughout the Mega-Month of May we are working to expand our reach by adding your friends and family to the email network. If you haven’t yet, please forward the email we sent you Thursday to 5 people from your contacts list. Or if you know someone who’s a fan of Jenna Elfman, maybe you can share this video with them and ask them to join the network to protect parental rights.

You might also consider ways you could volunteer with, whether you want to put together a fundraiser, you’d be willing to host a table at a local conference, or you want to launch a “petition drive” to get your community signed up with us. Whatever your interests and potential participation level, we’d love to hear from you through the volunteer form here.

And if you live in California, please contact your Assemblyman right away and urge them to oppose SB 277. You can read our official letter to the legislature about the bill here.
The statist attacks just keep coming, but we are still gaining ground. And as celebrity voices join with the rest of us, perhaps soon parental rights will draw the public and media attention the issue deserves. Thank you for persevering with us until then!
Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

A Special Note from Missouri

Missouri Champion of Parental Rights:
Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and calls regarding HB 557, the parental rights bill in Missouri. The 2015 legislative session ended here on Friday. While we did not see our legislation pass this session, we did make significant progress in building relationships and laying the groundwork for the 2016 session. The support we raised in both the House and Senate was incredible, and your voices had a lot to do with that.
Jill Johnson
Missouri State Coordinator

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