A massive 1981 Family Protection bill was unveiled by Sen. Paul Laxalt (R) of Nevada, principal sponsor of a similar bill in the last Congress; Sen. Roger Jepsen (R) of Iowa; and Rep. Albert Lee Smith Jr. (D) of alabama. The bill would restrict federal interference with spouse abuse, spanking of children, or the role of women "as historically understood." It would also bar funds under the Legal Services Corporation from being used for cases involving abortion, divorce, homosexual rights, or busing to achieve desegregation.
The bill would:
* "Reinforce the responsibility and legal rights of parents to direct the religious and moral upbringing of their children."
* Restrict the federal government from preempting or interfering with state laws pertaining to child abuse and revise the definition of child abuse to exclude corporal punishment, or spanking.
* Restrict the federal government from preempting or interfering with state laws pertaining to spouse abuse.
* Preven federal funds from being used to promote educational material denigrating the historically understood role of women.
When asked what the historical role is, Senator Jepsen said, "We should appreciate the role of women as mother and homemaker . . . ."
Senator Laxalt said he had not discussed the bill with President Reagan but said the President stood for its objectives. "I would hope, conceptually, we would have the support of the adminis tration," he said.