Home Visiting – Womb to Tomb Control
Posted February 29, 2007
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Today, February 22nd, the House Health and Human Services Committee takes up HF 595, the “universal” home visiting bill, authored by Rep. Carolyn Laine. This bill strikes at the very heart of freedom of parents to raise and educate children without government interference. It gives the DFL controlled legislature absolutely no cover from the justifiable criticism of them as the big-government, command-and-control leftists that they are proving themselves to be this session. It also gives the Republicans one of their best chances this session to prove that they really care about freedom and limited government as their platform suggests, and to prove that they are not just going to be “Democrat-lite,” implementing the Nanny State at merely a slightly slower pace than their colleagues on the other side of the aisle.
The legislation does the following:
- Requires the government to track EVERY child born in the state and then provide a visit by agents of the state to occur in the hospital or “as soon as possible after the child is born.”
- Requires the state to inform parents of every imaginable government early childhood program including government’s perspective on parenting and government screening including psychiatric screening.
- Referrals to all of these programs with then be made on an “as needed” basis.
- Because the effectiveness of the visiting program will be judged according to "number of referrals made" and parent satisfaction, there will be pressure to find a family problem to refer.
- Contains a thoroughly inadequate “opt-out” clause that does not require any information to be given parents as to why they may wish to or should opt out.
- Also sets up a family home visiting program for low-income and other “high risk” women to be done prenatally through age three, lumping all families together based on income, even if the families are stable two-parent families that are sacrificing financially to keep one parent at home to raise the children.
As Dr. Karen Effrem describes in her written Congressional testimony, there are numerous problems with these programs:
- Intensive data collection of the family habits, environment, and philosophy or even if they refuse the visits
- The undermining of parental autonomy and authority with presentation of potentially unscientific or biased data or principles with the potential for coercion to accept the state’s views or recommendations
- Issues related to consent, fourth amendment rights to be safe from searches by mandated child abuse reporters
- Lack of effectiveness to decrease child abuse rates in numerous national studies
- High cost with no evidence of effect on the child’s cognitive or social development
HF595 has no redeeming features and must be vigorously opposed. It is yet another example of far too many this session who see our children as “mere creatures of the state” as described in the Supreme Court decision Pierce vs. Society of Sisters. To protect your children and maintain your freedoms to parent our children as the last best hope of maintaining a legacy of liberty, please act NOW and do the following:
Call Rep. Laine (651-296-4331), members of the committee (see below), your own legislator and the Governor (651-296-3391 or 1-800-657-3717). House Info: 651-296-2146; Senate Info: 651-296-0504. Members of the committee hearing the bill are listed below.
To Contact Health and Human Services Members:
Add 651 Area Code
Chair: Paul Thissen (DFL)
Vice Chair: Patti Fritz (DFL)
Lead-GOP: Laura Brod (R)
Jim Abeler (R)
Bruce Anderson (R)
Julie Bunn (DFL)
Tom Emmer (R)
Brad Finstad (R)
Steve Gottwalt (R)
Rod Hamilton (R)
Thomas Huntley (DFL)
Tina Liebling (DFL)
Diane Loeffler (DFL)
Erin Murphy (DFL)
Kim Norton (DFL)
Mary Ellen Otremba (DFL)
Maria Ruud (DFL)
Cy Thao (DFL)
Ken Tschumper (DFL)
Neva Walker (DFL)
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