Republicans in the House and Senate proposed legislation on Tuesday that would amend the Constitution making it clear that parents have a right to raise their children in accordance with their own principles.
The amendment would prevent either federal government or any state from intruding on this right without showing that government's interest supersedes that of the parents.
The House bill, H.J.Res. 110, was introduced by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and 32 other Republicans, while the Senate resolution was put forward by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and nine other Senate Republicans.
Supporters of the proposal said the language is needed in a time of increasing government influence that seeks to over-manage the lives of families.
"Parents are best equipped to decide how their children are raised and educated, not bureaucrats from Washington and the United Nations," he added.
Aside from trying to limit the effect of the federal government on families, it also states that the United States cannot enter into any international treaty that would impede on the right parents have to raise their children. However, it does make an exception related to abortion, as it says, "This article shall not be construed to apply to a parental action or decision that would end life."
The full text of the proposed amendment follows:
"SECTION 1. The liberty of parents to direct the up-bringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right.
SECTION 2. Neither the United States nor any state shall infringe this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest, as applied to the person, is of the highest order and not otherwise served.
SECTION 3. This article shall not be construed to apply to a parental action or decision that would end life.
SECTION 4. No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article."