Maryland Protects Their Survivors

by Danielle Katz ’18

The Maryland Senate voted unanimously to end parental rights of rapists over children conceived through rape on January 30. Crafted as an emergency bill, the law would be effective immediately once passed. Though this may be an expectation of justice that a person may hope should be a given, it is reassuring to know that the state is taking action to protect parents and children alike.

Within the United States, 45 states and the District of Columbia limit parental rights of rapists, and 30 states allow or require the complete termination of parental rights. Though others pose restrictions on visitations and custody, it is not enough because neither victim of such a horrific crime should be left with any sort of obligation to be in contact with the biological “parent.” The bill offers a strong sense of protection against obligation from both the democratic senate and republican governor, showing citizens that as local governments move toward progressive laws, bipartisan support is more than possible. Just as Maryland has enacted a necessarily strict law, other states should be expected to follow in their footsteps to ensure a paved path to justice for every victim of rape in this country.