For Some Children, "Religious Freedom" Is Detrimental To Their Health

Image by  Martin Barraud/Getty Images

Image by Martin Barraud/Getty Images

In an article for The Atlantic, journalist Emma Green writes about the children who are harmed by others' religious beliefs, and the laws which enable that harm. Cases of parents using state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts as defense in child abuse trials are starting to make headlines, but the harm some children face because of their caretakers' religious convictions goes beyond physical abuse. For these kids, it can mean death from treatable medical conditions.

From The Atlantic:

Of all the people governments act to protect, children are perhaps the most vulnerable. Despite federal laws that seek to protect kids under 18 from neglect and abuse, there is no one definition across states of what “abuse” actually means, especially when it comes to families who rely on prayer and faith healings in place of medical care. In some places, if a child is injured, or dies, parents can use their state’s religious exemption as a defense against criminal charges.

Read more»