The ongoing battle between parents and the state regarding parental rights manifested itself recently in a lawsuit by parents against the state of Texas over blood samples taken from over five million newborn babies without the knowledge or consent of the parents.
As is usually the case in these kinds of issues, some bureaucrat(s) decided that it would be good to do this and establish a database for the purpose of research. It was only when a lawsuit was filed, and the public became aware of the situation, that the State Department of Health Services (SDHS) decided they should cooperate to find a way to let parents give their permission for this.
After the plantiffs agreed to this alternative, the news broke that the SDHS had already given hundreds of samples to the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory for research. The state decided to settle the case before discovery, some believe to prevent the public from knowing more about what had been done.
This sounds very similar to battles in the legislature a few years ago over the issue of immunization. Liberals were trying to pass a bill that would have mandated immunization of children, and we worked very hard to allow those who wished to be exempt from this process on the basis of parental rights that option.
In the same bill, a database was to be developed; we had to fight very hard to make that database an “opt in” so that parents had to give their permission, while the authors wanted to make it an “opt out” procedure so that parents had to make the request, which would make the process more difficult. At that time Representative Rick Green was one of our heroes who fought for parental rights on this issue. Just another reason he deserves our support in his runoff race for Texas Supreme Court.