Parental rights do not include endangering children by forcing them to undergo medical practices that have been rejected by the scientific community as discredited and harmful.
In balancing parental liberty interests against a state's interest in intervention, the Supreme Court has held that a state is justified in limiting the power of the parent if the decision in question has the potential to injure either the wellbeing of the child, or the wellbeing of society. The Court has held that the state's interest in preventing that harm is sufficiently compelling to give rise to a right on the part of the state to intercede.
The State has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and psychological well-being of its minors. The Supreme Court has held that a democratic society rests, for its continuance, upon the healthy well-rounded growth of young people into full maturity as citizens. Consequently, the Court has sustained legislation aimed at protecting the physical and emotional well-being of youth even when the laws have operated in the sensitive area of constitutionally protected rights.
Examples of a State’s compelling interest in protecting its children are numerous. It is manifest in age restrictions on the operation of a motor vehicle and the purchase of alcohol and in the existence and operation of a juvenile justice system. It is also manifest in the government agencies that investigate reports of child abuse and find foster and adoptive homes for abused and neglected children.
By educating parents about the harmfulness and deceptiveness of these practices, the proposed legislation will help improve health outcomes among vulnerable youth and ensure parents are not deceived by fraudulent claims of treatment outcomes.