Georgia lawmaker wants to eliminate parental rights of rapists

ATLANTA — A Georgia lawmaker wants to remove the parental rights of rapists.

House Bill 397 was originally introduced during this year’s legislative session. But, following the Ariel Castro saga in Ohio, state Rep. Keisha Waites, D-Atlanta, says she is planning to reintroduce the legislation.

“HB 397 would simply provide the courts with greater discretion in protecting mothers who have been violated by their assailants,” Waites said in a statement. “This bill would allow removal of the custodial rights of the parent who caused the child to be conceived by rape or statutory rape, or who committed an act of child molestation or incest with that child.”

There are currently 31 states, including Georgia, that do not have laws terminating the parental rights of a rapist.

“Without this legislation women who decide to keep their children are forever tied to their rapist because of archaic laws that seem to overlook the large population of women who decide to keep the baby,” Waites said. “After a woman experiences such a horrific ordeal, we must not further violate and punish a mother by demanding she be tethered to her rapist for the remainder of her life.”

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