HARRISBURG – Senator Doug Mastriano (PA-33) formally announced the introduction of a state statute that explicitly defines and protects parental rights as fundamental rights.
SB 996 will make it clear that the state government or any of its political subdivisions may not infringe upon the fundamental rights of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, health care, and mental health of his or her minor child.
The statute is significant in that it will prevent parental rights from being eroded through hostile court actions in the future and prevent the courts from ruling parental rights as “ordinary” rights. When rights are considered “ordinary,” the government has more leeway in overriding the decisions of parents.
“This statute is needed now more than ever after the constant eroding of parental rights over the past two years,” said Senator Mastriano. We saw instances where parents were labeled as domestic terrorists simply for advocating for what they felt was best for their child. We saw schools shuttered and parents left without in person learning alternatives. SB 996 will provide parents the legal protection they need when overreaching bureaucrats attempt to overrule their voice. When it comes to raising children, parents are better than the government.”
Passage of SB 996 would join Pennsylvania with 12 other states that currently recognize a parental rights statute.
The bill now awaits a vote in the State Government Committee.
CONTACT: Josh Herman