SANTA FE – Today, the House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill that would allow mothers to terminate the parental rights of a biological father when the pregnancy is the result of rape.
House Bill 50 is sponsored by Rep. Conrad James and passed on a unanimous 58 to 0 vote.
“This bill protects mothers and their children from suffering continued harm after a sexual assault,” James said. “It offers a measure of compassion by allowing survivors of rape to sever all ties with the person who assaulted them. I thank my colleagues in the House for joining me in support of this bill.”
Currently, a rapist is allowed custody and visitation rights to a child conceived as a result of a sexual assault. Under James’ proposal, a mother would be able to take away the biological father’s parental rights in the case of a rape conviction. The rapist would be denied all access to the child.
James sponsored a similar bill during last year’s legislative session, but it died in the Senate.