Pa. Senate Approves Rape Survivor Child Custody Bill

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — The state Senate has voted unanimously to send the House a bill that would eliminate the parental rights of offenders in cases where a child is conceived by rape.

Republican Senator Randy Vulakovich says if the parental rights of the rapist are terminated, so is the obligation to pay child support to the victim.

“If he demands his visitation rights, she’d be forced to connect with him. 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 goes to the state House for consideration.

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