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Justina Pelletier Goes to Washington

West Hartford teen meets with Michelle Bachmann, pushes 'Justina's Law.'

Justina Pelletier with her parents Linda and Lou. Contributed photo.
Justina Pelletier with her parents Linda and Lou. Contributed photo.
West Hartford's Justina Pelletier was in Washington Wednesday, meeting with Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann who is pushing a new law in her name.

Bachmann's bipartisan bill, nicknamed "Justina's Law" would ban federal funding for medical experimentation on children who are wards of the state.

Pelletier, 15, returned home to West Hartford in June after spending nearly 16 months in Massachusetts after the state forced her hospitalization there, isolating her from her family.

"She's now free," Bachmann told foxct.com. "And the purpose of Justina's Law will be to make sure this never, ever, ever, happens again and Justina hit it out of the park when she spoke to numerous members of Congress today to ask them to support Justina's Law."

Bachmann said Pelletier received a standing ovation when she addressed about 70 members of Congress during a lunch briefing.

Pelletier hopes to testify before the entire Congress in September.

Pelletier's return home was the culmination of a ruling issued June 17 by Massachusetts Judge Joseph Johnson ordering the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families to release the teen to her parents.

The teen has been in the focus of a national debate on parental rights since the Massachusetts DCF took custody of her more than a year ago, despite pleas from her family, thousands of supporters, a social media campaign and support from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

The DCF took custody of her in February 2013 after her family disagreed with a diagnosis and treatment by doctors at Boston Children's Hospital.
Linda Czaplinski July 18, 2014 at 02:06 PM
Bachman's bill misses the mark. The fundamental issue here is government overreach. Time and again we see children ripped from good parents while the ones with real need are overlooked.

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