Last week, your voices were heard when THSC asked you, our Texas families, to call Governor Abbott and voice your opinion alongside our official letter requesting that he veto Senate Bill 359. On Tuesday, June 2, 2015, the Governor responded to your requests by vetoing the bill and thereby protecting Texas families.
We want to express our gratitude to you, our THSC supporters, for taking a stand and making your voices heard, and also send a “Thank You” to Governor Abbott for Keeping Texas Families Free.
Senate Bill 359 would have changed the current law to grant hospital officials the authority to detain individuals whom they believe may have mental issues, and waive liability for the officials in doing so. This law would have jeopardized parental rights by placing doctors over parents. Because of this veto, the current law requiring a law enforcement officer’s agreement with the hospital’s assessment to detain a patient against his or her will remains the law and therefore protects parental rights.
Here is an excerpt explaining the Governor’s position from Governor Abbott’s veto proclamation:
The Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution limit the state’s authority to deprive a person of liberty. Under our constitutional tradition, the power to arrest and forcibly hold a person against his or her will is generally reserved for officers of the law acting in the name of the people of Texas. By bestowing that grave authority on private parties who lack the training of peace officers and are not bound by the same oath to protect and serve the public, SB 359 raises serious constitutional concerns and would lay the groundwork for further erosion of constitutional liberties.
Medical facilities have options at their disposal to protect mentally ill patients and the public. Many hospitals already keep a peace officer on site at all times. For smaller facilities, law enforcement are always just a phone call and a few minutes away. Medical staff should work closely with law enforcement to help protect mentally ill patients and the public. But just as law enforcement should not be asked to practice medicine, medical staff should not be asked to engage in law enforcement, especially when that means depriving a person of the liberty protected by the Constitution.
WHAT DO WE DO NOW?
Anytime someone stands strong to protect your freedom, it is important to offer a note of gratitude. So first, we send our thanks to you. Thank you for responding to the call to voice your opinion. THSC proudly serves alongside Texas families actively protecting individual freedoms.
Next, please consider sending Governor Abbott an e-mail or letter thanking him for protecting our rights. A veto is not an easy decision and we are thankful that we are represented by someone who is willing to take a stand for freedom.
Please use the Governor’s contact information to send him thanks.
Here is a sample note to save you time if you’d like to use it:
Dear Governor Abbott,
Thank you for listening to the voices of Texas families and the Texas Home School Coalition (THSC). Vetoing SB 359 showed your respect of our personal liberties and your stance to protect individual freedoms. This law would have jeopardized parental rights by placing doctors over parents. Keeping parental rights is vital to my home schooling family as we require the freedom to direct the care and upbringing of our children. I appreciate your support in Keeping Texas Families Free.
Thank you again for joining with THSC in making your voices heard to Keep Texas Families Free. Did you know THSC is a membership organization supporting home school families across the state? Are you a member? Please consider supporting the ongoing mission to protect parental rights by joining today.