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.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Woman Identified as Suspect in Dover Business Burglary

    Woman Identified as Suspect in Dover Business Burglary

    Tuesday, October 23 2018 10:24 AM EDT2018-10-23 14:24:51 GMT
    Tuesday, October 23 2018 10:24 AM EDT2018-10-23 14:24:51 GMT
    DOVER, Del. - Police are looking for a woman suspected in a burglary at the Spence's Bazaar. The incident happened October 14 around 5:30 am. According to police, someone entered the business through a door and stole several items from vendor booths. The More
    DOVER, Del. - Police are looking for a woman suspected in a burglary at the Spence's Bazaar. The incident happened October 14 around 5:30 am. According to police, someone entered the business through a door and stole several items from vendor booths. The More
  • Conflict Over Ocean View Marina

    Conflict Over Ocean View Marina

    Tuesday, October 23 2018 9:38 AM EDT2018-10-23 13:38:16 GMT
    Tuesday, October 23 2018 10:00 AM EDT2018-10-23 14:00:06 GMT
    OCEAN VIEW, Del.- Intersecting properties in Ocean View are at the center of a restaurant proposal and the future of the area's trail head and local business. Tom Fowler owns the Ocean View Marina on Elliott Avenue. Part of the marina is on his land, butMore
    OCEAN VIEW, Del.- Intersecting properties in Ocean View are at the center of a restaurant proposal and the future of the area's trail head and local business. Tom Fowler owns the Ocean View Marina on Elliott Avenue. Part of the marina is on his land, but More
  • Delaware House Candidate Says She Removed Rival's Pamphlet

    Delaware House Candidate Says She Removed Rival's Pamphlet

    Tuesday, October 23 2018 9:09 AM EDT2018-10-23 13:09:31 GMT
    Tuesday, October 23 2018 9:09 AM EDT2018-10-23 13:09:31 GMT
    This photo taken from a video posted on Facebook by Middletown's Randy Smith on Sunday allegedly shows Democratic state House candidate Monique Johns removing her political rival's campaign pamphlet and replacing it with her own. (Photo: Randy Smith)This photo taken from a video posted on Facebook by Middletown's Randy Smith on Sunday allegedly shows Democratic state House candidate Monique Johns removing her political rival's campaign pamphlet and replacing it with her own. (Photo: Randy Smith)
    This photo taken from a video posted on Facebook by Middletown's Randy Smith on Sunday allegedly shows Democratic state House candidate Monique Johns removing her political rival's campaign pamphlet and replacing it with her own. (Photo: Randy Smith)This photo taken from a video posted on Facebook by Middletown's Randy Smith on Sunday allegedly shows Democratic state House candidate Monique Johns removing her political rival's campaign pamphlet and replacing it with her own. (Photo: Randy Smith)
    A Delaware state house candidate has acknowledged removing her opponent's campaign literature from the front door of a home.More
    A Delaware state house candidate has acknowledged removing her opponent's campaign literature from the front door of a home.           More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Some Sussex County Communities Set Age Limit for Trick-Or-Treaters

    Some Sussex County Communities Set Age Limit for Trick-Or-Treaters

    Monday, October 22 2018 4:35 PM EDT2018-10-22 20:35:08 GMT
    Tuesday, October 23 2018 7:29 AM EDT2018-10-23 11:29:14 GMT
    Halloween is nearly a week away and parents and kids are gearing up for the big day. But some town and city officials throughout Sussex County, Delaware are encouraging that only kids under 12 participate in trick-or-treating to increase safety.More
    Halloween is nearly a week away and parents and kids are gearing up for the big day. But some town and city officials throughout Sussex County, Delaware are encouraging that only kids under 12 participate in trick-or-treating to increase safety.More
  • Defense Says Witness Played Major Role in Delaware Prison Riot

    Defense Says Witness Played Major Role in Delaware Prison Riot

    Monday, October 22 2018 6:12 PM EDT2018-10-22 22:12:35 GMT
    Tuesday, October 23 2018 7:32 AM EDT2018-10-23 11:32:36 GMT
    Aerial view of the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. (Photo: WBOC Chopper 16)Aerial view of the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. (Photo: WBOC Chopper 16)
    Aerial view of the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. (Photo: WBOC Chopper 16)Aerial view of the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. (Photo: WBOC Chopper 16)
    The star prosecution witness in the trial of four Delaware inmates charged with murder, kidnapping and other crimes after a fatal prison riot played a key role in the disturbance and...More
    The star prosecution witness in the trial of four Delaware inmates charged with murder, kidnapping and other crimes after a fatal prison riot played a key role in the disturbance and...More
  • Clayton Police Chief Pleads Guilty to First Offense DUI, Resigns

    Clayton Police Chief Avoids Jail Time After DUI Arrest

    Monday, October 22 2018 4:18 PM EDT2018-10-22 20:18:14 GMT
    Tuesday, October 23 2018 8:45 AM EDT2018-10-23 12:45:33 GMT
    A Kent County, Delaware police chief set to go to trial on a drunken driving charge has pleaded guilty and resigned his post.More
    A Kent County, Delaware police chief set to go to trial on a drunken driving charge has pleaded guilty and resigned his post.More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Weather Impacts Local Farmers

    Weather Impacts Local Farmers

    We've experienced some wet weather this season and while you may think that's good for farm land...it's not. Many farmers say the rain has actually been too much for their crops.

    More

    We've experienced some wet weather this season and while you may think that's good for farm land...it's not. Many farmers say the rain has actually been too much for their crops.

    More
  • Trial Begins for Inmates in Deadly Delaware Prison Riot

    Trial Begins for Inmates in Deadly Delaware Prison Riot

    The star prosecution witness in the trial of four Delaware inmates charged with murder, kidnapping and other crimes following a deadly prison riot last year played a key role in the disturbance and likely ordered the killing of a prison guard, a defense attorney claimed during opening statements Monday.

    More

    The star prosecution witness in the trial of four Delaware inmates charged with murder, kidnapping and other crimes following a deadly prison riot last year played a key role in the disturbance and likely ordered the killing of a prison guard, a defense attorney claimed during opening statements Monday.

    More
  • Some Sussex County Communities Set Age Limit for Trick-Or-Treaters

    Some Sussex County Communities Set Age Limit for Trick-Or-Treaters

    Halloween is nearly a week away and parents and kids are gearing up for the big day. But town and city officials throughout Sussex County are encouraging that only kids under 12 participate in trick-or-treating to increase safety among children.  

    More

    Halloween is nearly a week away and parents and kids are gearing up for the big day. But town and city officials throughout Sussex County are encouraging that only kids under 12 participate in trick-or-treating to increase safety among children.  

    More
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