Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The PRA in 2016?

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Sept. 30, 2014
The PRA in 2016?

With your help, we could see the Parental Rights Amendment (PRA) adopted before the next presidential election.

No, this isn’t a guarantee. It is too soon for that. There are still too many variables, too many pieces that need to fall into place.

But it is a very real possibility.

The first thing that has to happen, though, is the election this November of enough congressmen and senators who will support the parental rights effort.

The new House and Senate will convene in January, 2015. With enough support for the PRA going in, we can make a concerted effort to secure its passage in both houses within the year. Then, when state legislatures convene in 2016, its ratification can be at the top of their to-do list. (Those with year-round legislatures won’t even have to wait that long!)

Imagine it. With your help, we can see the PRA adopted before we even vote on President Obama’s successor in 2016!

But it all starts with this November’s elections. And that’s where our pledge comes in.

ParentalRights.org does not endorse a particular party or candidate. However, we are working to post for your information a list of candidates who support the PRA, based on the pledges we have received or an incumbent’s cosponsorship of the PRA in their chamber of Congress. Though the list is still incomplete, we are growing it at 4pra.us/pledge14.

Check the list to see who has declared their support in your House and Senate races. Check back as Election Day approaches and as hopefully more pledges are received.

If pledges haven’t been sent to the candidates in your district yet and you would like to help, you can see the step-by-step instructions here. (We are sending those pledges out slowly, but volunteers really speed up the process!)

Wouldn’t it be nice to know that no matter who is sworn in as president in 2017, they will swear “to preserve, protect, and defend [a] Constitution” that includes your parental rights?

With your help through the coming months, there is a good chance that we can make that dream a reality.

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

P.S. – If you can support the dream with just a $5 monthly donation (or $50 annual) this month you will receive access to our October Elite Membership packet on “Teaching Active and Adventurous Children,” featuring Institute for Excellence in Writing’s Andrew Pudewa. Andrew’s insights can help you connect with your adventurous child, however he or she is schooled.


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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Isaiah Rider Home, but Not Home Free

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Sept. 23, 2014

Isaiah Rider Home, but Not Home Free

Teen Isaiah Rider is back in Kansas City with family members after months in Chicago foster care. But the drama is not over.

Removed from his mother’s custody for “medical neglect,” Isaiah remains a ward of the state of Illinois.

“He was suffering,” Michelle recently told the Kansas City Star. “They could not control his pain, so we asked for a transfer to another hospital. We were asking for them to get appropriate help, and they were failing to do that.”

Instead, Lurie’s Children’s Hospital in Chicago called in Illinois’ child protection services, who removed Isaiah from his mother’s custody and placed him in foster care.

Isaiah has neurofibromitosis, a genetic condition that causes often painful tumors to grow on the nerves throughout his body. He has been dealing with medical problems related to his condition since he was 6.

After his most recent surgery, he had continual and on-going pain, which led to Michelle’s fateful decision. And that is when Lurie’s called on the state of Illinois to intervene.

Illinois took custody of Isaiah and placed him in foster care until last week, when he was returned to Kansas City, into the custody of his grandparents.

“I am very thankful that he’s home,” his grandmother Judy told the Kansas City Star. “However, the restrictions that they’ve been able to provide through Cook County Court limit (my daughter’s) visitation.” She is not allowed to see her son unless one of her own parents is present.

Michelle is on trial in Chicago to try to regain custody of her son. The case started on Friday (Sept. 19), and could stretch on for months. “It’s very frustrating,” Michelle said of the situation. “He’s 17 years old. This needs to stop.”

Almost a year and a half ago, we sent you a story of “Baby Sammy Home, but Not Home Free,” of a similar situation in California. And the Justina Pelletier case earlier this year followed a very similar pattern.

Under the Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act in Illinois (75- ILCS 36), it would appear that the Illinois courts should not have jurisdiction in the Rider case. Illinois is not Isaiah’s home, and he has no “significant connection with th[e] State other than mere physical presence.” The act has been adopted by the District of Columbia and every State except Massachusetts, and according to this reading of it, a Missouri court would rightly exercise jurisdiction over the case of Isaiah’s custody.

The law, however, is very complex. Illinois is already exercising jurisdiction, and it is not the purpose of this article to refute the court’s decision to do so.

But even if the UCCJEA were applied, there is no guarantee Michelle would win. Once a judge decides to ignore the fundamental right of parents to make medical decisions for their child, there is no telling what standard the judge will be looking for before he will entrust that parent with her own child again.

This is one great reason the Parental Rights Amendment looks to preserve those rights in the first place. Fit and loving parents should not have to defend their decisions to a judge when they have not been abusive or negligent. )

And make no mistake. The accusation of “neglect” against Michelle arose because doctors disagreed with her decision, not because of any action she had taken before.

Action Items
1. If you’re on Facebook, “like” our page at Facebook.com/parentalrights.org to follow Isaiah’s and other stories through our Facebook page.

2. Join ParentalRights.org with your $5 monthly donation (or save $10 by making a $50 annual gift) at ParentalRights.org/member. Your membership enables us to promote state statutes to fix over-reaches like the one in the Rider case, while also funding efforts to pass the Parental Rights Amendment – the ultimate solution to this problem.

In addition, we will send you not only the September Elite Membership packet on meal planning, but also the special introductory packet on Parental Rights in the Medical Setting. Perhaps its content can help you keep Isaiah’s nightmare from ever playing out in your family.

(And if you’ve signed up for our Membership Enlistment Contest, remember that it concludes next week on September 30.)

3. Help us find where your candidates stand on parental rights as we head toward Election Day. With enough help, this can be a quick and easy task that allows us to notify thousands of voters. See details in last week’s newsletter, available here.

With your help, we can make situations like Isaiah and Michelle Rider’s a thing of the past. But it will take all of us to preserve the “enduring American tradition” of parental rights.

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research
 


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Friday, September 12, 2014

Farris: New Foundation To Support Parental Rights

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Sept. 9, 2014

Farris: New Foundation To Support Parental Rights

Dear Champion of Parental Rights,

I write to share with you an exciting opportunity to advance the cause of parental rights in a new and important way. And I need your help to make it happen.

Our goal remains focused. We want to place permanent protections for parental rights into the Constitution of the United States. We have also advanced selective interim goals that are vitally important, including the defeat of United Nations treaties that would harm parental liberties.

Our efforts thus far have been focused on getting people who support parental rights to call their elected officials to enact legislation.

It has become apparent that we need to devote additional efforts to informing the American public about our issue. If more parents know the true state of parental rights in our law and judicial practice, then more parents will join in our efforts to protect parental liberty.

Our efforts will be successful only when enough parents wake up, stand up, and speak up.

Accordingly, we have decided to launch a project to dramatically expand both our research and public communications on parental rights.

ParentalRights.org is a 501(c)(4) organization. That means that the organization itself is tax exempt, but because we do a lot of lobbying, we cannot grant tax deductions to our donors.

Education, research, and litigation, however, can legitimately be funded by organizations that are both non-profit and tax deductible.

So we are launching a sister organization: Parental Rights Foundation. This foundation will be a 501(c)(3) organization, which means that donations made to the Foundation are tax deductible. It will not engage in lobbying but only in research, education, and other activities appropriate for such organizations.

The Parental Rights Foundation will allow us to:

  • Produce scholarly “White Papers” on various aspects of parental rights
  • File “friend of the court” briefs to provide legal insight to judges in important cases such as that of the Pelletiers in Massachusetts
  • Conduct public campaigns through seminars, meetings, social media, and traditional press to ensure that a far greater percentage of parents and policymakers understand the threats that are rising daily in our nation
  • Produce new articles, videos, and blogs that can be shared through social media to help our grassroots members participate in this new campaign of public awareness and education
While we have been educating the public and policymakers to some degree already, our capacity to do so is limited by lack of resources.

Both organizations will need funding, because ParentalRights.org will continue our growing legislative and lobbying efforts. But launching the Foundation will allow a substantial part of our efforts to come through gifts that are tax deductible.

Whenever I speak to live audiences about parental rights, the response is strong and positive. When people learn the truth, they want to help.

It is impossible for me to physically stand before enough audiences to educate all the people we need. We must expand our educational efforts in a big way.

My hope is that the Parental Rights Foundation will become the leading authority for parental rights policy in America, the go-to place for everyone from parents to educators to lawmakers.

Educating the public will lead to more widespread support. And the support of the American public is essential for a project of this magnitude.

Will you help me with this effort? For the first time, we can offer you a tax deduction for any gift that you are able to make to help us launch the Parental Rights Foundation.

In order to hit our launch goals – to crank up our research, get our first articles written, and launch a new website to feature the results – I need to raise $100,000 for the Foundation! If you can, send your best gift to help get this effort off the ground.

When people learn the truth about governmental attacks on families, they will respond. People will get it: If the government attacks one good family, they can attack my family as well.

If we want to protect our freedom, we need more informed allies. The Parental Rights Foundation is the tool that can help us achieve that end.

Thank you!

Sincerely,

Michael Farris
President


P.S. We have a groundbreaking opportunity. The Parental Rights Foundation will be the only national organization in the United States dedicated to promoting parental rights policies based on time-tested principles of freedom. It could change the face of parental rights in America. Please, if there’s any way you can, help us launch the Foundation with your most generous tax deductible gift toward our $100,000 goal.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Let Us Share Your Story with Congress

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Sept. 4, 2014

Let Us Share Your Story with Congress

ParentalRights.org President Michael Farris will be providing testimony on the Parental Rights Amendment before the Constitution Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee next Tuesday, September 9, and he would like to include your story.

Have you ever had a doctor or other medical professional (dentist, orthodontist, ophthalmologist, etc.) interfere with your parental rights? Perhaps they prevented you from accompanying your minor child into the treatment room for care. Perhaps they overrode your decisions regarding what is best for your child. Perhaps they called in the state because you sought a second opinion.

If you have had an experience of this sort, however basic or egregious, please send a brief summary to stories@parentalrights.org as soon as possible. You don’t have to write a long letter or include a ton of details. Just let us know what happened so that we can show Congress just how quickly this problem is growing, and just how far it has spread.

If you would also like to help fund our on-going efforts, you can secure a $5-monthly membership (or just $50 per year – a 16% savings) and receive two Elite Member Benefits packages – the current package on Menu Planning, and (fittingly enough) our package on Parental Rights in the Medical Setting. (If you already have a membership or don’t want one, you can make a general donation here.)

Thank you for your help as we prepare to take the issue of your parental rights to the very halls of Congress on September 9!

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research
 

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Great News! PRA Goes to Subcommittee September 9

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Sept. 2, 2014

Great News! PRA Goes to Subcommittee September 9

The Constitution Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on House Joint Resolution (HJRes.) 50, the Parental Rights Amendment (PRA), on Tuesday, September 9. Given that Congress is currently scheduled to be in session for only twelve work days before recessing again for the November elections, this hearing on only the second day communicates the importance of the resolution. The measure enjoys the support of 79 cosponsors, including Rep. Trent Franks, the chairman of the subcommittee. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) is the measure’s lead sponsor.

“I’m pleased that my colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee will consider the Parental Rights Amendment. This is an incredibly important milestone. The Parental Rights Amendment will ensure that child-rearing decisions are not made by faceless bureaucrats but by parents who love their children and know them best,” Congressman Meadows said.

This will mark the second consecutive session of Congress in which the PRA has been taken up by the subcommittee. The same subcommittee held a hearing on HJRes. 107 in July of 2012 during the 112th Congress.

“It is encouraging to know that in the midst of so many other important matters that Congress is dealing with, they have not lost sight of the importance of families,” says ParentalRights.org president Michael Farris. “Parental rights is ‘perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by [the Supreme] Court,’ but recent erosion of this liberty demands that we act to preserve it for our posterity.”

Farris, who boasts 30-plus years of experience as a constitutional lawyer and serves as chancellor of Patrick Henry College in Virginia, will be one of the expert witnesses to speak at the hearing on behalf of the Amendment. ParentalRights.org staff also plan to be in attendance.

Action Items

1. Call on your congressman to cosponsor the Parental Rights Amendment. The 79 cosponsors are listed at 4pra.us/House. If your congressman is not on the list, please contact his or her local office – or reach their D.C. office through the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 – and ask that he or she contact Martha Van Lieshout in Mark Meadows’ office to sign on as a cosponsor.

Feel free to use your own words, of course, but a sample message follows:

I support the Parental Rights Amendment, which is House Joint Resolution 50. I am glad to see that HJRes. 50 is being taken up by the Constitution subcommittee next week, and that it already has 79 cosponsors. I would like to encourage my congressman to sign on as a cosponsor of the measure as well. The lead sponsor is Mark Meadows of North Carolina, and the contact person in his office is Martha Van Lieshout. I urge my congressman to take this stand to protect the right of loving parents to make decisions for their children without undue government interference.
2. Support our efforts with a membership to ParentalRights.org. If you are not already a member, why not join today? Your $5 monthly donation – or discounted $50 annual donation – will not only entitle you to all the great information in our monthly Elite Member Benefits packages, but will also fuel our efforts to protect parental rights.

Only with the help of donors just like you have we been able to introduce the Parental Rights Amendment in both houses of Congress and get it to this subcommittee hearing. Only with your generosity have we been able to stand against the push to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to warn you about dangers like the national student database associated with Common Core, and to inform you of grievous parental rights cases like that of Justina Pelletier.

With your support, we will continue this vital cause until your parental rights are permanently secured in the Constitution.

September 9 will be an exciting day in the struggle for parental rights, and we are grateful for the chance to share this victory with you!

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research
 

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Members Fuel Fight to Save Parental Rights

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Aug. 26, 2014

Members Fuel Fight to Save Parental Rights

They’re after our kids – the judges, the bureaucrats, the internationalists, the big government elites – and they seem to think they can make better decisions for our children than we can. And they know – they know – that if they can shape the hearts and minds of this next generation, there will soon be no one left to resist them at all.

The only thing stopping them is you. Your constitutional right to direct the upbringing, education, and care of your children is all that stands between your child and the bureaucrats’ dreams-come-true. But your rights, as you know, are eroding.

That is why your membership in ParentalRights.org is so important. As always, your donation funds the only national level organization standing up to protect your parental rights to guard your child’s heart and mind for a free and secure future.

But now your membership is beneficial to you in the present, as well. That’s because every month we offer Elite Member Benefits in the form of print outs, e-books, or informative interviews to help you be the best parent you can be – and exercise your rights to the full – right now.

"Love the ID kits!" -- Joy D., NY
For only $5 a month, or a discounted $50 one-time annual fee, you will receive a code once a month to your free Elite Member Benefits download. This month’s topic is Internet Safety, featuring a video interview with Enough Is Enough’s Donna Rice Hughes, as well as some handouts and coupons to help you protect your children online.

Coming in September – only a week away – is a package on Menu Planning to help busy parents like you make the most of your budget as you provide for your children. Food may not be a “cool” or “trending” parenting topic, but it’s vitally important – a part of every day!

"Thanks so much for your help!" - Donna A., NC
What’s more, we have made our July packet on Parental Rights in the Medical Setting a permanent part of every membership as well. Join today and you will have access to all three packages in less than a week! (September package becomes available Monday, September 1.)

By joining now, you will bring these benefits directly to your inbox on a monthly basis. Even more important, you will fund the vital but costly work of ParentalRights.org as we strive to protect your rights against intrusive U.N. treaties, activist judges, and encroaching legislation and regulations. Only with your help can we persevere until the Parental Rights Amendment is adopted and your rights are secured.

"We really appreciate it. We are a large family." Jennifer P., CA
So join today, then pass the message along.

You can also join our membership contest and earn rewards for enlisting your friends to join. So what are you waiting for? Only one more month in the contest, and only one more week to get your August Elite Membership packet for a safer internet experience.

Thank you for joining with us financially as we strive to protect parental rights now and for generations to come.

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research


P.S. – This is also the last week of August recess, and the last week to call or visit your Senators while they’re in your state and urge them to oppose the CRPD. Click here for details.

Florida Notice: A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

Maryland Notice: A copy of ParentalRights.Org’s financial statement is available by request to ParentalRights.Org at the address below.

Virginia Notice: A financial statement is available from the State Office of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services upon request.

Washington Notice: The registration statement required by the Charitable Solicitation Act is on file with the Washington Secretary of State.

 
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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Urgent: Hold the Line against CRPD

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Aug. 21, 2014

Urgent: Hold the Line against CRPD

Former Republican Senator Bob Dole has been pushing his former colleagues in the Senate to support the U.N.’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). He knows the treaty is about 2 votes short, and he is applying all the pressure he can to get those 2 votes.

It is imperative now more than ever that we continue to hold the line so that those last 2 votes do not cave. Your calls, emails, and visits may be the only thing giving them the backbone to stand up to the pressure and vote “No” to this treaty that would move domestic law to an international context and put your parental rights at risk.

Please take a moment today to call or email your Senators and urge them to oppose this treaty. If you already called, call them again. Or even better – there may still be time to schedule a visit while they are in your state until the end of the month.

Your message can be as simple as the following:

I am calling to urge my senator to vote “No” on ratification of the CRPD. We do not need to ratify any treaty that purports to direct our domestic policy. Only Americans should make law for Americans. Even if the content of this treaty were perfect – and I have concerns that it is deeply flawed – an international treaty is no way to pass American domestic law. Treaties should deal with how nations treat other nations, not how my government governs me or my family. Thank you.
You can find your senators’ contact information by clicking on their website links on your state page. You can get there by clicking on your state at parentalrights.org/states.

Thank you for taking time out of your day to take a vital stand for parental rights and American freedom.

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research
 

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