Maryland Senate Votes to End Parental Rights of Rapists - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Senate Votes to End Parental Rights of Rapists

Posted: Jan 30, 2018 11:13 AM Updated:
Maryland Legislative Hall (Photo: WBOC) Maryland Legislative Hall (Photo: WBOC)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP)- The Maryland Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to end parental rights of rapists over children conceived through rape.

The 45-0 vote sends the bill to the House, where an identical measure has advanced for a vote later this week. Both chambers have made the bill a priority this session after it failed to pass for nearly a decade. Last year, lawmakers were criticized for failing to pass the bill after its 90-day session ended in April.

Sen. Robert Zirkin, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, said the measure has posed complicated issues involving due process for the accused, because the issue can involve fathers who have not been criminally convicted of rape. Zirkin also said the bill poses issues related to laws designed to protect victims. While the measure has been improved over the years, Zirkin said lawmakers will need to keep working to make the law better after it is enacted.

"This body has passed this bill unanimously on eight different occasions and I think we're about to do it as well, but it doesn't mean it's not without its complications, and we'll be addressing some of those in years to come," Zirkin, a Baltimore County Democrat, said before the vote.

The measure is crafted as an emergency bill, so it would take effect immediately with the signature of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who has expressed support.

"We've had it before us for, I believe, nine years and I'm proud to say I voted for it every time we've had it and fought for it, and it is absolutely imperative that we get this bill passed out of this chamber, out of the House and signed by the governor," said Sen. J.B. Jennings, a Republican who is the Senate minority leader.

About 45 states and the District of Columbia limit parental rights of rapists, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. About 30 allow or require the complete termination of rights. The other states and the District of Columbia deny or restrict some aspect, such as custody or visitation.

Various studies over the last two decades estimate that between 17,000 and 32,000 rape-related pregnancies occur in the United States every year, according to NCSL. Studies vary widely on the outcome of pregnancies resulting from rape, according to an analysis of the bill by the Maryland Department of Legislative Services.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Milford Crash Shuts Down Route One, Causes Critical Injuries

    Milford Crash Shuts Down Route One, Causes Critical Injuries

    Jul 15, 2018 9:08 PM2018-07-16 01:08:00 GMT
    Sunday, July 15 2018 9:08 PM EDT2018-07-16 01:08:48 GMT
    MILFORD, Del.- A Sunday evening crash put multiple people in the hospital and shut down both directions of Route One for hours. According to the Delaware State Police, the crash took place at New Wharf Road and Bay Road in Milford. Both the Delaware StateMore
    MILFORD, Del.- A Sunday evening crash put multiple people in the hospital and shut down both directions of Route One for hours. According to the Delaware State Police, the crash took place at New Wharf Road and Bay Road in Milford. Both the Delaware StateMore
  • Maryland Man Killed in Millsboro Crash

    Maryland Man Killed in Millsboro Crash

    Jul 15, 2018 8:33 PM2018-07-16 00:33:00 GMT
    Sunday, July 15 2018 8:33 PM EDT2018-07-16 00:33:01 GMT
    MILLSBORO, Del.- A Maryland man is dead after a crash in Millsboro Saturday afternoon. According to the Delaware State Police, around 1:15 p.m., a 48-year-old Laurel woman was driving south on Route 24 near Nine Foot Road with the intention of turning lefMore
    MILLSBORO, Del.- A Maryland man is dead after a crash in Millsboro Saturday afternoon. According to the Delaware State Police, around 1:15 p.m., a 48-year-old Laurel woman was driving south on Route 24 near Nine Foot Road with the intention of turning lefMore
  • Traffic Alert Issued Ahead of Fallen Trooper's Funeral in Lewes on Monday

    Traffic Alert Issued Ahead of Fallen Trooper's Funeral in Lewes on Monday

    Jul 15, 2018 10:25 PM2018-07-16 02:25:00 GMT
    Sunday, July 15 2018 10:31 PM EDT2018-07-16 02:31:56 GMT
    LEWES, Del.- The Delaware Department of Transportation is warning drivers in the Lewes area to expect delays and road closures as a fallen Delaware State Trooper is laid to rest Monday. DelDOT says parts of Route One, Route Nine, and the Five Points interMore
    LEWES, Del.- The Delaware Department of Transportation is warning drivers in the Lewes area to expect delays and road closures as a fallen Delaware State Trooper is laid to rest Monday. DelDOT says parts of Route One, Route Nine, and the Five Points interMore
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices