News & Blog

Washington: Help Us Close Religious Loopholes in Child Welfare Laws

It’s hard to believe, but Washington state currently exempts Christian Scientists from child negligence laws that require children in the state to be provided adequate medical care.

These exceptions endanger children and shield faith healers from liability for letting children die. We simply cannot let this continue. Fortunately, lawmakers in the Washington House introduced legislation to fix this issue and protect children — but we need your help to see it through!

Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Committee will consider HB 2791, which will remove these special exceptions for faith healing and ensure that ALL children are protected from child negligence due to lack of medical care.

Please call the members of the Judiciary Committee below. If you live in their district, be sure to let them know. (If you’re not sure who your House member is, you can check here.) Please ask them to support Representative Goodman’s amendment to HB 2791 and then to pass the bill out of committee.

RepresentativeDistrictTelephone
Jinkins, Laurie (D) (Chair)Takoma(360) 786-7930
Rodne, Jay (R) (Ranking Member)Snoqualmie(360) 786-7852
Graves, Paul (R)Snoqualmie(360) 786-7876
Haler, Larry (R)Pearl, Richland(360) 786-7986
Hansen, Drew (D)Keyport, Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island(360) 786-7842
Kirby, Steve (D)Lakewood, Parkland, Spanaway(360) 786-7996
Klippert, Brad (R)Pearl, Richland(360) 786-7882
Muri, Dick (R)Lakewood, DuPont, Elk Plain(360) 786-7890
Orwall, Tina (D)SeaTac, Des Moines, Kent(360) 786-7834
Shea, Matt (R)Spokane Valley(360) 786-7984
Valdez, Javier (D)Kenmore, Lake City(360) 786-7818

 

Here are a few talking points to include in your call:

  • I live in Washington, and I care about the health of children and the separation of religion and government.
  • Washington should not support special exceptions to child negligence laws for faith healing. No child should die because of their parent’s or religious leader’s beliefs.
  • This life-saving bill has the support of youth advocates, prosecutors, and the church. It is not controversial. Please pass this bill and protect young lives.
  • Please adopt Rep. Goodman’s amendment and pass HB 2791 through the Judiciary Committee.

This bill will save lives. That’s the bottom line.

We just need to make sure that lawmakers follow through and get it passed! Please call committee members today and help us pass this bill!