The full Senate has given unanimous approval to a measure aimed at protecting the rights of parents to decide how best to raise their children. House Bill 1384, by Sen. AJ Griffin, R-Guthrie, and Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, is also known as the “Parents Bill of Rights.”
“The family is the most basic unit of society,” Griffin said. “This bill simply clarifies that parents have the fundamental right to decide how to raise their children, and that includes the right to make decisions about their education, their religious training, and their medical and mental health care.”
Griffin said a recent case in Boston was but one example of attempts to erode parental rights in this country. When parents disagreed with a hospital’s decision to treat their daughter as mentally ill instead of treating her for a physical illness as diagnosed by a reputable physician, the hospital asked the state to terminate the parents’ rights. The court sided with the hospital.
Griffin called that decision shocking, but noted there have been other cases throughout the country that represent an attempt by courts or governmental officials to deny basic parental rights.
“This legislation bolsters the fundamental right of Oklahoma parents to decide how to raise their children,” Griffin said.
The Senate voted Monday 43-0 in favor of HB 1384. The bill now will return to the House for approval of amendments.