KANSAS — Theoretically — right now in Kansas, if a woman has a baby from rape, the rapist could potentially claim custody of the child.
State lawmakers are working to take a away parental rights from the rapist.
Some people are saying rape victims are facing an unnecessary burden if they choose to keep their baby.
The government says hundreds of thousands of women are raped or sexually assaulted each year in the U.S.
If the woman gets pregnant from it, they are left with a decision of what to do with the baby.
Supporters say a new bill would give mothers comfort knowing their rapist can’t claim custody if they keep the baby or put the child up for adoption.
Even if the rapist is never convicted.
Sara Rust-Martin, Kansas Coalition of Sexual & Domestic Violence, said, “This victim, not only has it just experienced probably the most traumatizing experience of their life, but now they have to consider whether they want to take the chance to have to co-parent with this person, so under the current law, we don’t have protections. So that person may never come back, that rapist may never come back and want custody, but they could.”
The bill would also let children of a rapist, collect inheritance even if parental rights are terminated.
No one spoke in opposition of the bill in committee, and if passed it would head to the full senate.