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Majority of States Allow Rapists to Have Parental Rights Over Children

A shocking number of states allow a man parental rights if he rapes and impregnates a woman, even if the woman does not want him in the child's life.

Thirty one states in total grant visitation and custody rights to men who get their rape victims pregnant. 

Slowly, states are starting to change these laws, and Colorado is the most recent one to take a stand against it. 

A new bill proposed in the state would prevent rapists from having parental rights. It is now waiting for approval from a House Appropriations Committee and a vote by the House, but is expected to pass as not a single legislator voted against it.

The bill would also force rapists to pay child support and, if the mother wishes, keep them from ever knowing a child was born.

But the bill would only apply to those who were convicted after July 1, 2013. 

On top of that, the law wouldn't be automatic, as victims would have to file a petition in juvenile court to prevent future contact with the parent who committed the rape. 

It was estimated in 2010 by a Georgetown report that about 32.3 to 64 percent of women who get pregnant from a rape keep their children.

One woman who was raped by a gang of men and decided to keep the baby that resulted from it said she still has nightmares about it.

"Do I even give that child a good home? It's really hard. It's frustrating and confusing and I'm just really confused," Nichole Adame said. 

"I didn't even know that it was possible for someone to commit such a heinous crime and then fight for custody of the child."

Her attackers were arrested, but one of them still tried to get in touch with her after the incident, which happened four months ago.

Adame hopes that the bill passes and gives empowerment to victims of rape.

"I hope that somebody can see me or what I'm talking about and think, if they haven't come forward, there's still time."

Sources: Salon,CBS


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