Two United States Representatives introduced on July 20 a bipartisan bill, inspired by Britney Spears’ legal battle to end her years-long conservatorship, to protect the rights of those under conservatorships.
Democratic Representative Charlie Crist and Republican Representative Nancy Mace introduced the Freedom and Right to Emancipate from Exploitation (FREE) Act, also known as the “Free Britney Act,” to end conservatorship abuse and exploitation.
“Under the FREE Act, we would free Britney along with the countless number of seniors and persons with disabilities being abused and exploited by the broken system,” Crist said in a statement.
The FREE Act would grant a person under legal guardianship or conservatorship the right to petition to the court to replace their court-appointed private conservator or guardian with a public guardian without having to prove abuse.
The legislation would also guarantee an independent caseworker to anyone under conservatorship to monitor for signs of abuse.
The legislation would also require all caseworkers and public guardians to disclose their finances and requires states to submit annual reports on conservatorships.
Last June, Spears petitioned a Los Angeles court to end her father’s “abusive” conservatorship that has controlled her finances and personal life for 13 years, alleging forced labor, forced birth control, and forced medical treatment.
“Britney Spears’ conservatorship is a nightmare. If it can happen to her, it can happen to anyone,” Mace said in a statement.
According to the Justice Department, around 1.3 million Americans are under conservatorships.