5% of rape victims of reproductive age (age 12-45) became pregnant as a result of rape, with the majority of pregnancies in adolescents. Under current Maryland state law, rapists who impregnate women in the course of sexually assaulting them have the same full parental rights as other biological parents
Senate Bill 78 will change this. The Rape Survivor Family Protection Act, Senate Bill 78, sponsored by Senator Raskin and co-sponsored by 29 additional Senators, will allow rape victims who become pregnant as a result of rape to ask the family law court to end the parental rights of their rapist. The high standard of clear and convincing proof used in other termination of parental rights cases would be required. Rape victims should have to meet the same standard used in other termination of parental rights cases – no more, no less. Additionally, if a rapist-parent cannot be located, this bill would require that the victim’s name be withheld from publications in the media.
MCASA continues to support legislation that limits the parental rights of rapists when the child was conceived through rape and to increase protections for rape survivors who have a child conceived through rape.
Senate Bill 78 will be heard Thursday, Feb. 5th.
Visit http://www.mcasa.org/law-public-policy/legislative-agenda/ to learn more.