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June 25, 2015

Pa. Senate passes bill to remove parental rights of rape offenders who conceive children

Legislation Rape
06252015_Gavel Brian Turner/Wikimedia Commons


The Pennsylvania Senate has unanimously passed a bill to remove the parental rights of offenders in cases where a child is conceived by rape, CBSPhilly reports.

Republican Sen. Randy Vulakovich, sponsor of the bill, said if a rapist's parental rights are eliminated, under current law, the obligation to pay child support to the victim would be as well.

"If he demands his visitation rights, she’d be forced to connect with him," Vulakovich told CBSPhilly. "In essence, she could be repeatedly subjected to enduring the pain and reliving the trauma that the criminal inflicted on her."

The bill sponsored by Vulakovich corrects what victim advocates have called a bizarre loophole in Pennsylvania law, by allowing the courts to terminate a convicted rapist’s parental rights while maintaining the offender’s obligation to pay child support.

The bill now heads to the House for consideration.