Update on Victims’ Parental Rights Bill
We have discussed the fact that Maryland rape victims may not currently terminate the parental rights of their attackers should that attack result in a pregnancy. New legislation is set to pass that will allow rape victims to terminate the parental rights of their attackers.
The bill passed through the Senate last week with a vote of 45-0. Earlier, the House also passed the bill with no discussion needed. The legislation has been pushed by Del. Kathleen M. Dumais for the last 11 years and is pleased that it is set to finally pass this year.
Dumais said, “It’s been such a long, hard-fought battle. It’s time to just do it… Let’s get it on the books.” Governor Hogan has promised to sign the bill into law as soon as it hits his desk. Currently, Maryland is one of only six states in the country that does not give victims the right to terminate the parental rights of their attackers in instances of rape.
It is believed that at least part of the reason this bill hasn’t made it through to law in the past is because members of the House Judiciary Committee couldn’t decide on the steps to take to ensure that the parental rights of attackers were revoked, but not those of the accused innocent.