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Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000, Purcellville, VA 20134

For Immediate Release Contact: Jeremiah Lorrig
November 26, 2012 (540) 338-5600

UN Treaty Draws Criticism from National Leaders, Parents

Senator Mike Lee, Rick Santorum, and Michael Farris will present petition from nearly 9,000 parents of children with disabilities today on Capitol Hill

PURCELLVILLE, Va.—Today, Rick Santorum will speak at a press conference opposing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), at 4:30 p.m. in Room 562 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. He will be joined by Senator Mike Lee of Utah, a leading opponent of the treaty, and Michael Farris, LLM, a prominent expert on international law, to present a petition signed by almost 9,000 parents of children with disabilities against the CRPD. Santorum will discuss how being a father of a child with special needs has helped convince him to oppose the treaty.

The petition originated as a response to a November 14 statement strongly opposing U.S. ratification of the CRPD by Joni and Friends, a ministry founded by Joni Eareckson Tada, a quadriplegic and host of her own radio show.

“Joni and Friends holds deep concerns regarding CRPD language on parental rights and the rights of the unborn with disabilities. We are also concerned how U.S. ratification of this treaty would impact U.S. sovereignty,” Tada’s organization said.

The petition states, “As the parent or family member of a person with disabilities, or as one who lives with a disability, I join with Joni and Friends in urging the United States Senate to reject ratification of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This treaty threatens the traditional right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children, especially if those children live with disabilities, and it limits the ability of the U.S. Congress to make laws for Americans."

Farris, who is also founder and chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, highlights the concerns of parents across the country.

“We all want to show our love and care for people with disabilities,” Farris said. “But all of the rights that parents have under traditional American law, especially the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, will be undermined by this treaty. The United States is a leader in rights for persons with disabilities because we have stuck to the policy of Americans making law for Americans, and that principle should not be undermined.”

Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Visit us online at and at