OHIO RIGHT TO LIFE
Yesterday, the Ohio Senate passed a bill that will protect rape victims who become pregnant from attackers who seek parental rights. Ohio Right to Life strongly supported this legislation and worked to ensure its passage. At ORTL, we have a long tradition of protecting and promoting life regardless of how a child is conceived. We eagerly embrace rare moments such as these in which legislators from both sides recognize the rights of a child conceived by rape.
Unfortunately, a majority of Americans accept abortion in the case of rape, a fact demonstrated by all of the polling. That does not deter ORTL’s efforts to save those children. It is our responsibility to change hearts and minds in the best way possible.
We are grateful when legislation like this gives us the opportunity to plant the pro-life seed in the hearts and minds of Ohioans. We truly believe that these opportunities, above all others, are what make the greatest impact.
Who could imagine—a vocally pro-abortion legislator such as Senator Nina Turner working to protect the rights of pre-born babies conceived by rape! Today’s Columbus Dispatch (below) quoted Sen. Turner, saying, “This ensures that survivors of rape are empowered and their children are protected.”
We are as much surprised by her words as we are gratified by them.
According to the Dispatch, “The issue was highlighted last year when Ariel Castro sought visitation rights to the 6-year-old daughter he fathered with one of the three women he raped and held captive for years in Cleveland. The judge denied the request, but some were disturbed that Castro had the right to file the request.”
We thank both Sen. Nina Turner and pro-life Sen. Tom Patton, a lead sponsor of the bill, for standing shoulder to shoulder for the sake of both mother and child.
Public Relations Manager
Ohio Right to Life
88 East Broad Street, Suite 620
Columbus, Ohio 43215
614/547-0099, ext. 304
Senate OKs bill to end rapists’ parental rights
By Jim SiegelThe Columbus Dispatch • Thursday June 5, 2014 5:37 AM
By the end of the year, Ohio may no longer be one of 31 states that offers little legal protection for rape victims who become pregnant from attackers who seek parental rights.
In what supporters called an overdue protection for rape victims in Ohio law, the Senate voted unanimously yesterday for a bill that would allow a victim to terminate the attacker’s parental rights if he is convicted of rape or sexual assault. The termination would occur when a conviction occurs rather than at an additional hearing.
In Ohio, a victim of rape can put the child up for adoption without the attacker’s consent, but Ohio is among the states that allow the attacker to attempt to obtain parental rights over that child.
The issue was highlighted last year when Ariel Castro sought visitation rights to the 6-year-old daughter he fathered with one of the three women he raped and held captive for years in Cleveland. The judge denied the request, but some were disturbed that Castro had the right to file the request.
Rape victims in Ohio who carry their babies to term “face the constant danger that the rapist can seek parental rights over that child,” said Sen. Tom Patton, R-Strongsville, a lead sponsor of the bill.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that about 32,000 pregnancies occur annually from rape or sexual assault.
“This ensures that survivors of rape are empowered and their children are protected,” said Sen. Nina Turner, D-Cleveland, who also pushed the bill.
Senate Bill 207 now goes to the House. The legislature is on break until the fall.