Protect children by preserving parental rights

Published: Aug 28, 2019


It Is Unconstitutional and Anti-American to Remove a Parent’s Right to Direct Healthcare Decisions for Our Children

The undersigned citizens of the United States respectfully request that state senators, state representatives and assembly people, and governors of the great states commit to affirming and upholding our medical, parental, and patient rights to make the decisions that affect the health and well-being of ourselves and our children.

The American Medical Association (AMA) voted in June 2019 to make it a mission to remove “the barrier” of “ refusing parents” to all children receiving all childhood vaccinations. It seeks to allow minor children as young as 12 years of age to provide their own consent in contravention of parental authority. Existing federal law—42 U.S. Code § 300aa–26—and Supreme Court precedent—Parham v. J.R. and Troxel v. Granville— makes parental rights paramount to all other interests. This same federal statute establishes a compensation program for vaccine injury and death, plus unprecedented liability protection for vaccine manufacturers and the health care professionals who administer vaccines, because there is sufficient risk and established harm caused by vaccinations to justify and necessitate such a program.

Mandatory childhood vaccinations are used for preventative purposes in healthy children, not for emergency medical necessity, so such laws removing parental rights do not pass the “compelling state interest” test required to lawfully restrict a fundamental freedom. Any law that limits basic human rights—such as parental rights and informed consent to medical intervention—must undergo rigorous scrutiny and be shown to be strictly necessary, more than legitimate or important, narrowly focused on the cause of the problem, and the least restrictive of all methods. In a declared emergency, vaccines temporarily administered under Emergency Use Authorization require complete, informed, and voluntary consent. The US Supreme court recently reaffirmed in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo, 592 U.S. ___ (2020) that “even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten,” and strict scrutiny will apply to laws curtailing constitutionally protected rights. It’s an overreach, and not strictly necessary, to remove parental knowledge and consent to all mandatory childhood vaccinations. The AMA is a professional association whose objective is to protect the interests of its member physicians. In the event of harm caused by healthcare decisions made in breach of parental authority, neither the AMA nor implicated physicians will be liable. The child’s parents will still be financially responsible (not to mention grievously disconsolate).

Parents, as the ultimate stakeholders, are the most invested in, and must continue to direct the decisions that determine, the child’s health and well-being. Removing parents from health decisions will jeopardize the child’s health and threaten the parent-child relationship and familial integrity. It is well established in natural, divine, and religious laws, and upheld in long-standing historical and cultural norms of the Western world that parents play the primary role in the upbringing and nurturance of our children. The alternative is medical authoritarianism and abhorrent to Americans. Please represent us and stand for the encompassing and inherent freedoms that define who we are.

Have A Question?

Sign the petition to tell your state lawmakers that it is unconstitutional and anti-American to remove a parent’s right to make healthcare decisions for our children.

We stand for our medical, parental, and patient rights to direct the health and well-beng of ourselves and our children. The American Medical Association (AMA) does not. The AMA—one of the strongest lobbying organizations in America[1]—is on a mission to advance the rights of its member doctors to make health care decisions for minor children in contravention of parental authority. The AMA’s agenda is anti-parent, anti-patient, anti-liberty, and pro-medical authoritarianism. In June 2019, the AMA adopted a policy that declares the organization’s focus: press states to pass laws that remove the vaccine decision from parents and place it squarely in the hands of the “mature minor.”[2]  The AMA admits that its motivation is to specifically override the judgment and conviction of “refusinik parents.”[3] Pediatricians administer the most vaccinations. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has publicly stated that it is its priority to override parental concerns.[4] The AMA’s agenda and the AAP’s approach is anti parental rights and anti informed consent.

Existing federal law — the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 — specifically and legally requires parents be informed of vaccine information including risks and benefits prior to the distribution of each vaccine.[5] This same law establishes a compensation program for vaccine injury and death because there is enough risk of harm caused by government-recommended vaccines to necessitate such a program. The choice to vaccinate must remain with parents who know their children’s medical and family history and details about cultural norms and other aspects of their health and upbringing better than anyone else. The Supreme Court affirmed the high responsibility and right of parents to control the upbringing of our children against that of the State in Prince vs Massachusetts (1944): the custody, care, and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the State can neither supply nor hinder.[6]

Our children are the first generation that will not live to be as old as their parents.[7] Chronic disease rates in America have skyrocketed from 12% in the 1980’s to over half of children today. The U.S. has the highest infant mortality rate of all developed countries. Of infants surviving the one year threshold, 54% of them are diagnosed with at least 1 of 20 chronic, autoimmune, or neurological disorders and are at risk of obesity and developmental delays. The same medical system that has overseen this decline in America’s health rates is the one that is on a fast mission to override parental authority to direct the health and well-being of our children. Will we entrust the health decisions of our children to the institutions that have overseen the greatest health decline in human history? It is time to stand up for divine, natural, religious, constitutional, and human rights laws that have guided us well and withstood the test of time.

The AMA, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the pharmaceutical industry and its lobbyists are not interested in protecting parental rights or your children’s health[8]. They are not advocating for keeping families together and your children in school. Their concerns are to shape and direct health care policy, public health (conceding its attendant and expected collateral damage), industry profitability, and physician interests. It is clear how and why their agenda is in conflict with US parents. Now is the time to stand and tell your elected officials that you are asking them to protect your rights: the primary role of parents in the upbringing of our children is an enduring tradition that is established beyond debate in the history and culture of Western civilization.[9]

Sign the petition and stand for health freedom and the preservation of parental rights.

[1] “Top Spenders”; “Annual Lobbying by American Medical Association”

[2] “Highlights from the 2019 AMA Annual Meeting”

[3] Id.

[4] “Immunizations, Vaccine Hesitant Parents,” (accessed August 18, 2019).

[5] 42 U.S. Code § 300aa–26.

[6] Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158 (1944).

[7] A Potential Decline in Life Expectancy in the U.S. in the 21st Cent., N Engl J Med 2005; 352:1138-1145.

[8] “The American Medical Association is a special-interest lobby, not a patient ally,” (June 27, 2017).

[9] Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S.205, 232-233 (1972).

Ellen Chappelle


Ellen Chappelle serves as SHF’s resident wordsmith. A seasoned writer and editor, she’s enthusiastic about ensuring that our content is clear, concise, and inspiring.

Ellen is most energized by working on projects that transform lives. A truth seeker as well as a journalist, she’s disturbed by the lack of accuracy in today’s media and determined to help share fact rather than fiction. And having found greater healing with alternative approaches, she’s also passionate about preserving our freedom to make informed health choices.

Past projects include serving as regional editor of a dog magazine, color and trend specialist for a small cosmetics company, arts columnist, newspaper reporter, ghostwriter, and creator of website content for artists and small businesses.

With a degree in journalism and theatre, Ellen is also a performer. She enjoyed singing and dancing on a cruise ship and traveling with a national musical theatre tour, as well as recording industrial videos, television commercials, and radio voiceovers. She also creates handcrafted jewelry in wire, chain maille, and fused glass.

“Despite what some would have us believe, the fact remains that this nation was founded on biblical principles by people who wanted freedom to worship God and live their lives without government involvement. It’s never been more critical to fight for those rights.”

Chrissy Scott

Executive Assistant and Social Media Manager

A labor and delivery nurse with a lifelong passion for maternal and fetal health, Chrissy Scott left her job of 19 years after learning the truth about the harms caused by the medical system. In 2009, she was mandated by her employer to receive the H1N1 vaccine during her first trimester of pregnancy with her second child. She was assured that the vaccine was “safe and effective” for pregnant women, but her son was born with a kidney defect that could have been fatal. She didn’t connect the dots to vaccine injury until several years later when the declining health of her oldest son drove her to seek answers outside of allopathic medicine.

This personal journey ignited in her a new passion for truth and transparency in health care. As SHF’s Executive Assistant, Chrissy facilitates communication and local advocacy initiatives alongside Leah Wilson for their home state of Indiana. She also manages and creates graphics for SHF’s social media accounts and the website’s swag shop.

Chrissy earned her nursing degree from Anderson University and served her entire career at her local hospital. While she’s no longer a floor nurse, her five very active boys frequently test her nursing skills! She homeschools her children and has been co-owner of a successful home décor sign business with her sister.

“Parents, being the experts on their own children, are best suited to make decisions for the well-being of their family. To do this properly, they must be given full and accurate information and be free from force or coercion.”

Sayer JI

Director and Co-founder

Sayer Ji is a widely recognized researcher, author, lecturer, activist, and educator on natural health modalities. Among his many roles, he is an advisor to Stand for Health Freedom, a reviewer and editor of the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, an advisory board member of the National Health Federation, a steering committee member of the Global GMO Free Coalition, and the co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed Inc., a revolutionary scientific validation framework.

Most notably, Sayer is the founder of, the world’s most widely referenced, evidence-based natural health resource of its kind. He founded the platform in 2008 to provide an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. Today, has more than a million visits per month, serving as a trusted resource on myriad health and wellness topics to physicians, healthcare practitioners, clinicians, researchers and consumers worldwide.

Sayer attended Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where he studied under the notable American philosopher Dr. Bruce W. Wilshire. He received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy in 1995, with a focus on the philosophy of science. His new book, Regenerate: Unlocking Your Body’s Radical Resilience through the New Biology, was released in March 2020 and is an Amazon bestseller.

“I truly believe that education will be our greatest shield against accelerating the erosion of civil liberties, including the right to bodily sovereignty, as well as the greatest catalyst for positive change on this planet moving forward.”


Executive Director and Co-founder

An attorney with a background in complex litigation and advocacy, Leah Wilson is passionate about children’s health and has researched and worked on child welfare issues for more than a decade.

The overmedication of children in foster care as a form of behavior management is what compelled Leah to become an advocate and foster parent. During her time as a court-appointed special advocate for abused and neglected children, Leah witnessed the rampant use of psychiatric drugs among foster kids. She also discovered that, in addition to many extensive requirements, the state had a policy that all foster children and foster families be fully vaccinated, without exception. Through her involvement in law, health and the foster care system, it became abundantly clear to Leah that the single most important issue affecting child welfare in the United States is the practice of one-size-fits-all medicine via medical mandates. This motivated Leah to expand her advocacy beyond foster care to all children nationwide and to start Stand for Health Freedom (SHF) in 2019.

A graduate of the Saint Louis University School of Law, Leah holds dual bachelor degrees in political science and Spanish from Indiana University. In addition to her advocacy work with SHF, Leah is the owner and former operations director of MaxLiving Indy, one of the largest natural health centers in the Midwest. She is also an educator on holistic health as well as a sought-after speaker on issues ranging from religious rights to greening your home.

“Parental rights and religious freedom are God-given natural rights that cannot arbitrarily be taken away by government authorities. Parents are the single most important factor in a child’s success; I stand in full support of this sacred relationship.”

Sheila Ealey

Political Analyst

Dr. Sheila Lewis Ealey is the founder and former director of the Creative Learning Center of Louisiana, a therapeutic day school for children who are on the autism spectrum or struggling with other nonverbal intellectual disabilities. The wife of a former U.S. Coast Guard Officer, she is also the mother of four children. Her son was diagnosed with severe autism spectrum disorder at 18 months. He is now a young man and considered moderate and emerging.

Sheila and her twins were featured in the documentary “Vaxxed.” She has traveled extensively, advocating for medical freedom. She continues to educate disenfranchised parents about their fundamental rights to religious and philosophical exemptions, their ability to live sustainably on a limited budget, and the importance of nutrition and biomedical interventions for optimum health with autism. She also writes individual homeschool curriculums for parents of children with autism or intellectual disorders. Sheila is a trustee for the Autism Trust, USA, and on the board of directors of Children’s Health Defense.

Over the past 20 years, she has educated herself to use natural healing modalities for the body and brain. Her formal education includes degrees in communication, special education curriculum, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership in Special Education. Sheila serves as an assistant content advisor and political analyst for SHF.

“It is not the Constitution’s job to protect our liberties, as it is not a philosophical document but a legal one. Its purpose is to limit the powers and authority of our federal government in hopes of preventing an intrusion upon our unalienable rights. We are obliged to maintain our government within its limits.”

Mary Katherine LaCroix


Mary Katherine LaCroix became involved with SHF as a volunteer in 2019 when the religious exemption for childhood vaccines was at risk in her home state of New Jersey. She believes strongly that parents have the responsibility for their children’s health, education, and faith formation and that only they have the right to make medical decisions and manage their care.

She has worked in fundraising for more than 25 years at various educational, cultural, human services, and political organizations. A graduate of the University of Scranton, she holds a degree in History and English Literature.

Mary Katherine is thrilled to have this opportunity to work with and help grow SHF, believing that together we can achieve even greater impact in protecting our rights and caring for our loved ones. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two children and large extended family, as well as volunteering to support the special needs community.

“Parents are taught that they must trust the experts. That’s what we did, until we learned that the experts can be wrong and don’t always know what is best for your child. Parents should instead feel empowered by their natural, God-given ability to advocate and care for their children. SHF is here to give them the tools to do just that.”

Valerie Borek


Valerie Borek is a passionate advocate for health rights and family privacy. A mother of two with degrees in law and biochemistry, she is perfectly positioned to lead SHF advocates through complex health-rights policy. Her work is guided by a love for American values, uncovering truth, and a passion for empowering others. Valerie has served as SHF’s policy analyst since 2021.

Valerie’s understanding of the value of freedom to make one’s own health care choices is not just academic. Health freedom has kept her boys alive and thriving. Her choice to have home births jump-started her advocacy for health privacy. Her eldest son survived a rare and deadly cancer because her family was able to navigate medical care while holding onto values that were sometimes at odds with recommendations.

Before joining SHF, Valerie specialized in health and parenting rights at her boutique law firm, especially surrounding birth and vaccine rights. She advocated for informed consent in health care and transparent food labeling in her state. She helped found the Birth Rights Bar Association and was honored to present their argument to the Delaware Supreme Court that midwifery is not the practice of medicine, in support of a trailblazing midwife.

“Health is the foundation of how we show up in this world to love, serve, and create. Americans are blessed to live in a country that gets stronger the more we protect fundamental rights, like informed consent and privacy, so individuals and families can thrive.”

Bailey Kuykendoll

Associate Director

Designer and visual marketer Bailey Kuykendoll began advocating for health and religious freedom and parental rights in 2014 after learning she was pregnant. A self-described skeptic, she’s not afraid to ask questions and do copious amounts of research to reach her own conclusions.

She’s also not afraid of hard work. As SHF’s Relationship Manager, Bailey truly keeps the organizational boat afloat. Working closely with health freedom advocates in each state, she ensures that SHF has campaigns for health-freedom-related bills and petitions on our website and across social media, spreading the word to encourage people to contact their legislators. She builds campaigns, graphics, website pages, and relationships.

Bailey earned a design degree from Harrington Institute of Design in 2008. She then served as a production assistant on several shows for HGTV, followed by working behind the scenes on the X Factor, small indie films, music videos, and documentaries. Bailey joined Health Freedom Florida after moving to the East Coast, becoming co-president of the grassroots organization in 2019. While at Health Freedom Florida, she successfully filed a state bill designed to stop discrimination based on your health status. She joined SHF in the fall of 2020.

“God placed a calling on my heart back in 2008 to be a part of something bigger for Him. Twelve years later, the opportunity came knocking to help others lean into their natural-born rights and take a stand for themselves and their families. I knew this is where I was called to be, and I have never looked back.”

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