SANTA FE ― The New Mexico House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday that would give women the option to terminate the parental rights of a biological father when the pregnancy is the result of rape.
Republican Rep. Conrad James and Democratic Rep. Georgene Louis sponsored the bill (HB 387), which passed by a unanimous 65-0 vote.
“A mother has every right to protect her child from a convicted rapist,” James said. “Passing this bill is the right thing to do for New Mexico’s children and mothers.”
Currently, someone who committed rape is entitled to child custody and parental visitation.
This legislation gives the victim the ability to terminate or permanently suspend the rights to the biological father. By doing so, the mother can ensure that the rapist will not have access to her child, nor petition for visitation or custody. Similar legislation is already in place and under consideration in several states.