By Jason Fontelieu
Despite failed attempts in the past to pass a bill terminating parental rights to the attacker when a pregnancy is caused by rape, another bill will be re-introduced to the Maryland General Assembly at the start of the new legislative session in January.
The issue is backed by House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Mike Miller, according to the Baltimore Sun. The legislation will be introduced in the House as House Bill 1 and in the Senate as Senate Bill 2.
There have been nine failed attempts to pass a version of this bill. The most recent failure was when a compromise could not be reached over the House and Senate versions of the bill on the last day of the 2017 session, according to the Washington Post.
Some students find it surprising how far behind Maryland is compared to other states. Maryland is currently one of six states without a law allowing rape victims to claim sole parental rights if a pregnancy results from rape, according to the Baltimore Sun.
“I’m surprised Maryland doesn’t have one already,” freshman economics major P.J. Saumell said.
Freshman marketing major Jordan Bryant concurs.
“I don’t see an argument against it, so I don’t see why it would be hard to pass,” she said.
Miller announced in a Facebook post that “Senate Democratic leadership is going to make this a clear priority,” according to the Baltimore Sun, adding that rape victims should not be forced to co-parent a child with their attacker.
The state has been criticized for their inaction on several occasions by groups such as Planned Parenthood and Maryland Right to Life, and even by comedian Samantha Bee, according to the Washington Post.