Protecting the Family - Part 2
John Stepanovich appealed the ruling all the way to the Virginia Supreme Court. Thankfully, Circuit Judge Glen Tyler reversed the orders of the lower court and Abraham was returned to the full custody of his parents. Stepanovich hailed the Circuit Court ruling as a victory for liberty. “This is not a case about what treatment is best,” he told the press after the hearing, “It’s a case about who gets to decide what treatment is best for Abraham.”
Today, Abraham Cherrix is cancer free. At 19, he is healthy, happy and getting on with his life — without the government telling him or his family what to do about his health care decisions.
After lengthy negotiations, Social Services and the cherrix family agreed to a resolution. Abraham would not be forced into chemotherapy. Instead, he agreed to limited doses of radiation. The family knew he needed treatment, but they did not want the government telling them what to do.
Trying to stop this government intrusion from occurring again in Virginia, Stepanovich working with (former) Attorney General Bob McDonnell drafted legislation which became know as “Abraham Law.” The bill was introduced by (former) Delegate John Welch of Virginia Beach. The law provides that teenagers 14 or older and their parents now have the right to refuse medical treatments for ailments such as cancer. Teenagers and their parents can seek alternative treatments so long as they have considered all other medical options.
Stepanovich commented that the bill, “reinforces the legitimate interest that parents have in protecting their children.” Governor Tim Kaine signed the bill into law, saying, “this measure strikes the appropriate balance between the rights of parents and a mature child to make informed medical decisions. This is significant for health freedom in Virginia.”