The Oregon Legislature is moving closer to ending religious protection for parents who deny medical treatment to their children based on personal religious beliefs. Lawmakers say that the recent deaths of three children from the Followers In Christ church in Oregon City as the reason. The bill at the center of the change is HB 2721. Under HB 2721 parents would be subject to prison sentencing. The bill summary reads “Eliminates reliance on spiritual treatment as defense to certain crimes in which victim is under 18 years of age. Modifies effect of reliance on spiritual treatment in determining whether youth is subject to juvenile court’s dependency jurisdiction.” and is sponsored by State Representatives Carolyn Tomei, Dave Hunt and Mitch Greenlick.
Clackamas County District Attorney John Foote said to The Oregonian,”This will level the playing field so all parents will be operating under the same rules. It’s going to make it easier to hold parents accountable who don’t protect their children.”
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