Since 1983 when Rita and her husband, Doug Swan, founded Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty, its mission has been to end child abuse or neglect related to religion, cultural practices, or quackery through public education, research, legal action, and a limited amount of lobbying.
CHILD has supported
- Laws requiring medical care of children, including preventive and diagnostic measures, without exception for religious belief
- Reporting of child abuse and neglect without religious exemption
- Licensing of child care facilities including those run by churches
- Ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child
CHILD has engaged in
- Publishing newsletters (usually quarterly)
- Filing lawsuits and amicus briefs
- Supporting laws that protect children against medical neglect
- Providing emotional support for victims of religion-based medical neglect
- Providing speakers
- Collecting and disseminating information about court cases and state and federal laws
For a partial history of CHILD’s founding, see CHILD NEWSLETTER 2013 vol.2 (30th anniversary issue)
“The Last Strawberry”, Rita Swan’s memoir about the loss of her son Matthew, can be ordered here.