‘Parents Bill of Rights’ measure passes Senate committee

A sharply divided state Senate Education Committee has given preliminary approval to a bill that would prevent children from getting non-emergency medical care or counseling without parental permission. The sweeping Republican measure would also require schools to give parents more information about their power to opt out of things like vaccinations and sex education.

GOP Sen. Ellen Roberts of Durango argued the state needs to make it clear that parents are the first authority in children’s lives, and "Senate Bill 77, to me, only rights the see-saw that we’ve kind of created where parents have felt left out."

Democratic senators say the bill will make it harder to get help to children who are being abused by their parents. "This bill would make those children the losers," Colorado Springs Sen. Mike Merrifield.

After a final vote, the the bill will head to the Democratic-controlled House, where it is likely to die.