Advance bill to protect children by repealing faith-based exemptions


Last month, we asked you to contact your legislators and urge them to support a good bill that would repeal faith-based healing protections for parents who choose not to seek medical attention for their children based on their religious beliefs. That bill recently passed the Washington Senate and is one step closer to becoming law.

This bill will next be heard this Friday by the House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary. Please keep the pressure on legislators to pass this important measure and protect children by repealing faith-based exemptions.

Currently, Washington has a law that protects these parents from legal charges even if their children die as a result of this negligence. S.B. 5749 aims to remove this exemption as it relates to “criminal mistreatment of children and vulnerable adults.”

The law currently states: “It is the intent of the Legislature that a person who, in good faith, is furnished Christian Science treatment by a duly accredited Christian Science practitioner in lieu of medical care is not considered deprived of medically necessary health care or abandoned.”

If this bill passes, this language will be removed and children will no longer be at risk of death because of the state sanctioning their parents’ dangerous religious beliefs. Please use our automated system to urge the members of this committee to vote yes on S.B. 5749.

If you are able, please attend the committee meeting on Friday, Feb. 21, and make your support of this bill known in person. More details can be found here.


Freedom From Religion Foundation

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