Parental rights are slipping away from parents at an imperceptible rate and now falling into the hands of the government. The government is using the rights of the parent to empower children to make decisions for themselves. You heard me correctly – the government is stripping away your rights as parents and handing your rights over to your children. Children are encouraged to withhold vital information from their parents, and they have the law to back them up. Parents of Minnesota, did you know that a doctor can perform any medical procedure on your child without your authorization, in a non-life threatening situation?
“Any minor may give effective consent for medical, mental and other health services to determine the presence of or treat pregnancy and conditions associated therewith, venereal disease, alcohol and other drug abuse, and the consent of no other person is required.”
Unfortunately, this law is not exclusive to the state of Minnesota. In the state of Arizona, minors have the ability to explicitly consent to contraceptive services and STD/HIV screening services. With regards to alcohol and/or drug abuse treatment, the minor must only be 12 years of age to explicitly consent. Again, this is not exclusive to the state of Arizona, this is nationwide. According to the Guttmacher Institute, an organization working to advance sexual and reproductive health throughout the world, many states have implemented similar laws:
26 states and the District of Columbia allow all minors (12 and older) to consent to contraceptive services. 20 states allow only certain categories of minors to consent to contraceptive services . . . All states and the District of Columbia allow all minors to consent to STI (sexually transmitted infection) services. 18 of these states allow, but do not require, a physician to inform a minor’s parents that he or she is seeking or receiving STI services when the doctor deems it in the minor’s best interests . . . 2 states and the District of Columbia explicitly allow all minors to consent to abortion services. 36 states that require parental involvement have an alternative process for minors seeking an abortion. 36 states include a judicial bypass procedure, which allows a minor to obtain approval from a court. 4 states require judges to use specific criteria, such as a minor’s intelligence or emotional stability, when deciding whether to waive a parental involvement requirement. 12 states require judges to use the “clear and convincing evidence” standard that the minor is mature and the abortion is in her best interest when deciding whether to waive parental involvement requirement.
You see, parents are becoming irrelevant when it comes to important decisions involving their children. As stated above, some states require a judge to render a decision which should be explicitly made by the child’s parent. So where does it end? Why are children being encouraged by our government officials to make decisions for themselves? It is not just legislators; doctors have overstepped their bounds, as well.
There have been several cases in which health care providers have taken it upon themselves to disregard parents’ wishes and encroach on their decision-making rights. Parents Erin and Ken Stieler have firsthand experience in this area. The Stielers’ 10-year-old son Jacob was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. Jacob was taken to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Great Rapids, Michigan to undergo chemotherapy. The treatment was very difficult for Jacob and it took a huge toll on him, both physically and mentally; at one point, he told his parents he wanted to die. Fortunately, after three months of treatment, the PET scans confirmed the cancer was completely gone. Still, the doctors advised Jacob to undergo more chemotherapy. After researching the side effects of the chemotherapy Jacob’s doctors wanted him to continue, Jacob’s parents concluded that “the risk of the drugs was far greater than the risk of recurrent cancer, since Jacob had a clean PET scan.”
Dissatisfied with the Stieler’s decision, the hospital contacted Child Protective Services and accused Jacob’s parents of medical neglect. The Stielers hired a lawyer to fight the charges brought upon by the State of Michigan. This case began to catch the attention of individuals who supported the Stieler’s decision and a legal team presented the judge with a petition to dismiss the case. After reviewing the petition, the judge did just that.
Although this case had a happy ending, this goes to show that states are trampling on parental rights. In this case, the state had the audacity to invalidate the Stieler’s decision concerning their son’s unnecessary chemotherapy treatment. Parental rights within the United States are already hanging by a thread. I wish I could tell you the madness ends there, but it does not. There is more.
The UNCRC is an international treaty, short for United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The United States has not yet adopted this treaty; Somalia is the only other country who has not done so. Even left-wing MSNBC recognizes this treaty has a better chance of passing under the Obama administration “than at any point in the past.” The treaty sounds completely harmless, but this is not the case at all; quite the contrary, actually. This international law contains 54 articles. I will address a few (the 54 articles can be read in its entirety here).
Article 4 of the UNCRC states: “You have the right to life. Governments should ensure that children survive and develop healthy.”
According to the Supreme Law of the Land, the Constitution, we have a right to privacy. Does this mean a government bureaucrat will treat each parent as an abuser and enter our homes once a year, once a month, or even once a week to “ensure that children survive and develop healthy?” Well, don’t rule it out; Article 6 of the Constitution states,
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”
This international treaty would be an adjunct to the Constitution. In other words, this treaty will also be the supreme law of the land. Let us take a look a look at another article in this treaty; Article 9 of the UNCRC states:
“You should not be separated from your parents unless it is for your own good . . .”
This statement is quite vague. One thing is for certain, though; a government bureaucrat will be responsible for telling you what they think is best for your child, and you will forced to comply. If not, your child will be removed from your custody.
Article 12 of the UNCRC states:
“You have the right to say what you think should happen when adults are making decisions that affect you, and to have your opinions taken into account.”
As an Elementary Education major with years of experience working with young children, I can personally say that children have no problem telling adults how they feel. Many parents do take their children’s feelings into account and genuinely hear them out, but regardless of what the child thinks or feels, it is the parent’s responsibility to make the final decision. That is why children are considered minors until the age of 18, and in some cases, 21. If a child is not satisfied with the parent’s decision (which is pretty common among children and teenagers), if would not be too far-fetched to assume that the child can contact a government bureaucrat and say something like, “my mommy and daddy won’t let me to spend the night at Johnny’s house this weekend.” A government bureaucrat will then enter the home and determine if staying at Johnny’s house is in the child’s best interest. The bureaucrat will most likely side with the child and give the parents one of two options: let the child spend the night at Johnny’s house or have the child removed from the parent’s custody. Is that scenario so hard to believe? I think not.
Article 13 of the UNCRC states,
“You have the right to get, and to share, information as long as the information is not damaging to yourself or others.”
The first question to ask is, what does our government consider damaging and inappropriate? Well, we have a government that encourages young children to engage in sexual activity and withhold information from parents; information that prevents parents from protecting their children from decision that can and will affect them for the rest of their lives. There are also scholars working hard to normalize and redefine pedophilia as “intergenerational sexual intimacy?” Judith Levine, an academic and author of the book Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex stated this:
“. . .there are people pushing a conservative religious agenda that would deny minors access to sexual expression,” and “we do have to protect children from real dangers . . . but that doesn’t mean protecting some fantasy of their sexual innocence.”
These are prime examples of why you cannot trust others to tell you what is best for your child.
As of 2008, 193 countries have ratified UNCRC, composed by 18 “international experts.” If the UNCRC is so grand, then why is homeschooling illegal in several European countries? If the UNCRC really cares about the rights of the child, then why are Sweden and Switzerland teaching children as young as 4, sex education? One of the 18 UNCRC composers is from Uganda, where honor killings have not been made illegal. As a result, young women are killed frequently.
Parental rights within this country are already dwindling, and the UNCRC will, without a doubt, prevent parents from having much say in their child’s upbringing. Each parent has a different method of child-rearing. Some parents circumcise their sons and some do not agree with this; some parents home-school their children, while some prefer to put their children in the public school system; some parents give their children chores, and some do not; some parents spank their children, while some do not agree with this method of discipline. You may not agree with the Stieler’s decision to discontinue the treatment for their son, but regardless with how you feel about some of the issues I have listed, parents make decisions for their children because they know what is best for them. Not every parent’s decision will be the right one, but that is all part of being a parent. Parents who have their child’s best interest at heart should not be treated as abusers, as this treaty suggests.
There is a way to fight this treaty, and I encourage each and every parent to take action immediately! Sign the petition that will protect parental rights by embedding them into the Constitution. This is known as the Parental Rights Amendment, a proposed modification to the 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 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.
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.
Parents nationwide are being punished for doing what they think is in the best interest of their child, and you could be next. Fight for your right as a parent. Children are in danger, and it is up to parents to ensure their child’s safety. Contact your senator and representative today. Tell our government officials that we mean business.