Parental Rights Progress Pauses in Two States

I am so grateful for the support of readers like you, and the tireless efforts of state lawmakers and volunteers who push to build solid parental rights law at the state level. This year has seen several such efforts across the country, including two that have come to a “pause”: Alabama and Illinois.


In Alabama, state Representative Kenneth Paschal championed two measures for parental rights, including House Bill 98 (HB 98) proposing a Parental Rights Amendment (PRA) to the Alabama Constitution. That bill failed to pass both chambers this year, finishing the year “sine die,” or “indefinitely postponed,” as it’s listed on the Alabama legislature website. In layman’s terms, that means the bill did not reach the House for a floor vote and ultimately did not progress further. 

But the reality is not nearly so dreary as all that.

Rep. Paschal has been a champion of parental rights for a long time and remains committed to bringing the PRA back in the next session. It will have a new number and a fresh list of cosponsors, but he is already set to pre-file this replacement before the next session in February of 2025.

In the meantime, he was also working on a second bill to reform the process of child welfare investigations to make sure the rights of innocent families are protected. That bill was not introduced this session, but that doesn’t mean Rep. Paschal didn’t put a lot of work into it. 

In fact, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a lawmaker spend so much time and energy plowing the field and preparing the soil before planting a bill via introduction. He held multiple meetings and discussions with various parties with an interest in the bill (for or against), including one gathering I had the honor of sitting in on back in April. 

I can tell you firsthand that we learned a lot from the discussion that will help Rep. Paschal introduce a tighter bill next year, one with a better chance of passage than if those discussions hadn’t taken place.

If you live in Alabama, talk to your friends and family in the coming weeks and months and encourage them to sign up for our updates at As we grow, we will have a stronger and louder voice with which to support Rep. Pachal’s efforts in 2025!


And in Illinois, Senate Bill 378 (SB 378) is also paused, but perhaps not for so long.

SB 378, which would require Child Abuse Pediatricians to identify themselves and their forensic (evidence-gathering) role in child welfare investigations, enjoys a wide level of bipartisan support. It passed the Senate by a vote of 58-0 on April 18 before stalling in a House Committee.

It is significant to note that it did not stall in committee for want of support, but for want of the right support: the committee leadership, not a committee majority, halted the bill.

So, we are not done yet.

Several volunteers and coalition partners in Illinois are working tirelessly to answer questions and settle concerns, in hopes of bringing the bill back during the post-veto period later this summer.

It’s still an uphill climb, as just a few lawmakers hold the key to moving the bill forward. If those few are deeply entrenched in their decision, we will need a miracle to move them.

Worst case scenario, we will plan to bring the bill back next session, when leadership will likely be different, hopefully in our favor.


In conclusion, though I have no super exciting “good news!” to deliver today, yet I am both grateful for and proud of all the hard work that has gone into these efforts in Alabama and Illinois this year. I firmly believe these efforts will not be in vain!

As support for parental rights continues to grow, we will see victories in both of these states and many others, whether it’s this week, later this summer, or in 2025.

Thank you for standing with us and supporting our efforts through all of it. Together, we will protect children by empowering parents in Alabama, Illinois, and even right where you live!