The Senate today approved Senate Bill 207, jointly sponsored by State Senators Tom Patton (R–Strongsville) and Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville), which would modify Ohio law to allow victims of rape to terminate parental privileges of the person convicted of rape.
Current Ohio law does not prevent a convicted rapist from gaining custody of a child that was conceived by rape. The law also allows convicted rapists to be awarded parenting time with the child conceived by rape. This legislation would increase protections for victims of rape by ensuring that any woman who conceives a child due to rape will not be required to continue interaction with the person that raped them due to that person’s parental rights.
“Rape is a heinous act and every step should be taken to ensure that all victims of rape are provided with the resources and rights necessary to overcome that devastating occurrence. This bill is a timely and much-needed piece of legislation that will strengthen Ohio laws and provide additional protections to rape victims in our state,” said Patton. “We should not force victims of rape to continue facing their rapist for another eighteen years and this legislation will ensure that those victims won’t have to see their rapists ever again.”

This bill would amend current law to protect victims of rape by allowing them to terminate the parental rights of the person who committed the crime. Additionally, this bill ensures that victims do not need to have any additional interaction with their rapist by allowing a simultaneous request of a parental rights termination order at the time of a rape conviction or guilty plea.
“Current Ohio law is insufficient in safeguarding the physical and emotional well-being of women who have endured the horrific trauma of being raped and bearing a child as a result of it. I believe we can do much more as a state to protect these women and this legislation is one step toward that goal," said Manning. "It is crucial that the state of Ohio protect the best interests of both victims of rape and their children and this legislation will strengthen Ohio’s laws to do just that.”

The legislation will now proceed to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.

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