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Promise to America's Parents Coalition urges Gov. Newsom to protect children, parental rights

Monday, Sep 19, 2022

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Emilie Kao, vice president of advocacy strategy, regarding a letter the Promise to America’s Parents Coalition sent Monday to California Gov. Gavin Newsom urging him to stand up for the safety and protection of children by vetoing SB 107. This dangerous piece of legislation would give California courts the ability to strip parents in other states of their parental rights if their child travels to California to obtain life-altering and irreversible surgeries. It also ignores the established authority of the other 49 states and increases the risk of irreparable harm to America’s children:

“Parents have the fundamental right to direct the upbringing and care of their children, which includes making the best decisions regarding their child’s mental, emotional, and physical health. In an astonishing disregard for federal law and the constitutional rights of parents, California wants to take away custody of children from their own parents—no matter what state they’re from—and deny families the right to access their child’s medical information. Thankfully, a growing coalition of parents, leaders, and organizations is standing up for the protection of our children, the fundamental rights of parents, and the jurisdiction of the states.”

  • Pronunciation guide: Kao (GOW’)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT Emilie Kao

Emilie Kao serves as senior counsel and vice president of advocacy strategy for Alliance Defending Freedom. Before joining ADF, Kao served as director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation. She also served as senior legal counsel at an international human rights law firm, East Asia team leader in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Human Rights, and director of international advocacy at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. She was an adjunct professor at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University and is co-editor of the “First Principles on International Human Rights” essay series. She has testified before the U.S. Congress and spoken at the United Nations in Geneva and New York. Kao earned her A.B. cum laude from Harvard University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She is a member of the state bars of California and the District of Columbia and is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court.