Ohio Senator Trying To Change Rape Custody Law

By
Caleigh Bourgeois

Dateline
Updated Wed, Jan 15, 2014 6:28 pm

In Columbus, state lawmakers are working on a bill to protect rape victims who conceive children.

A CNN article by Shauna Prewitt inspired a proposed legislation to protect rape victims who conceive during sexual assault.

And as it makes its way through the state legislature, the bill is drawing some unlikely supporters.

Ariel Castro kidnapped and kept three women in his house for ten years, but after he was caught, 4 young women emerged from his Cleveland home.

Castro had fathered a child with victim Amanda Berry through rape, and under Ohio law, was permitted to ask a judge for visitation.

A state legislative committee discussed a bill yesterday that would change that.

Senator Nina Turner is leading the bill, which will terminate parental rights of rapists to children conceived during rape.

"I know it's hard for people to think that somebody would try to get parental rights on a child conceived under rape, but it does happen," said democratic Senator Nina Turner.

While the bill was written by pro-choice Democrats, it's supported by conservative pro-life group Right to Life, who released a press release praising the bill as pro life.

"We both can recognize that there's a baby that needs to be protected in the case of rape," said Kayla Smith from Ohio Right To Life.

But politics and debates aside for Senator Turner, the bill isn't just business, it's personal.

"I have family members. My baby sister in particular was raped. She was not impregnated but she was raped, and it's a very personal thing to have to go through that and watch somebody that you love go through that," Turner said. "And then to be further burdened if they do conceive a child, having to be further tormented by the attacker, we should not allow that to happen."

Tags: