Action Alert

Give Alabama bill the final push it needs to protect children!

Take action to support an Alabama bill requiring religious child care centers to follow basic standards.

HB 76 is a sensible bill that would put a stop to unchecked child abuse and neglect in religious child care centers. Currently, faith-based child care centers in Alabama do not have to comply with the basic standards that secular centers must follow. HB 76 would remove this dangerous exemption.

We asked for your support when this bill was before the Alabama House, which then passed the bill overwhelmingly, but it now faces a Senate that killed the bill last year due in part to vigorous opposition by some conservative religious groups. Please contact your state senator and tell him or her that children’s lives depend on their support of HB 76.

CONTACT

Please contact your state senator. You can find your official by going to this link and entering your address.

MESSAGE

Please feel free to cut and paste the talking points we've provided below.

As your constituent, I urge you to support HB 76 to mandate faith-based child care centers in Alabama to comply with the basic standards. This bill would put a stop to unchecked child abuse and neglect in religious child care centers.

BACKGROUND

Alabama allows faith-based child care centers to operate with less oversight than in any other state in the country. This senseless free pass for religious centers has produced a trend of systematic child abuse and neglect. Often, when regulators have identified severe problems at secular centers and shut them down, those dangerous centers have rebranded themselves as faith-based child care centers "just days after" being shut down, according to Reveal News. This loophole has allowed them to continue their old ways without any oversight.

In one twisted case, a woman operated at least a dozen Christian day care centers across Southern Alabama, despite regular complaints of abuse and neglect, as well as arrests for child endangerment and failing to pay employees. But the state is currently unable to stop her, or other individuals, from setting up regulation-free centers in the same way.

Conservative Christian groups successfully fought against the same bill last year, arguing that bill "removes religious liberty protections." But religious liberty does not create a right to abuse or neglect children. When Alabama parents send their children to a day care center, they should be confident that the center will meet at least basic health and safety standards, regardless of who runs the center.

The state's duty to protect its young citizens should not be subject to a recklessly mindless religious exception. Please call or email your senator and urge them to support HB 76.

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