Internet Explorer 11 is not supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

No More Parental Rights for Rapists in Alabama

The issue of parental rights for rapists gained fresh relevance in May, after Alabama lawmakers passed the nation’s strictest ban on abortion.

By The Washington Post

A new Alabama law requires judges to terminate the parental rights of people convicted of first-degree rape and certain other sex crimes, narrowing a legal loophole that allows rapists to seek custody of children conceived through their assaults.

The mandate is part of a new statute known as Jessi’s Law, which severs the parental rights of people who sexually assault their own children. But the 10-page measure includes one sentence with a much larger scope. Gina Maiola, press secretary for Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, R, said the line terminates all parental rights of any person convicted of sexually assaulting anyone else, regardless of the victim’s age or relationship to the attacker.

The issue of parental rights for rapists gained fresh relevance in May, after Alabama lawmakers passed the nation’s strictest ban on abortion, outlawing the procedure even in cases of rape or incest. While the abortion law has been challenged in court, abortion rights activists fear it could force rape victims to bear children and then co-parent with their attackers.

Maiola said the new law, which takes effect Sept. 1, will address the issue - at least in cases where the assault results in a conviction. The law applies in cases of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and incest.

But activists say that, because the law requires a conviction, it leaves many victims vulnerable, since most sexual assaults are never reported, much less punished in court. They say Alabama judges should terminate custody if there is "clear and convincing evidence" that an attack occurred - the standard used in a majority of states, according to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Special Projects
Sponsored Stories
In recent years, local governments have been forced to adapt to a wildly changing world, especially as it pertains to sending bills and collecting payments.
Workplace safety is in the spotlight as government leaders adapt to a prolonged pandemic.
While government employees, students and the general public had to wait in line for hours in the beginning of the pandemic, at-home test kits make it easy to diagnose for the novel coronavirus in less than 30 minutes.
Governments around the nation are working to design the best vaccine policies that keep both their employees and their residents safe. Although the latest data shows a variety of polarizing perspectives, there are clear emerging best practices that leading governments are following to put trust first: creating policies that are flexible and provide a range of options, and being in tune with the needs and sentiments of their employees so that they are able to be dynamic and accommodate the rapidly changing situation.
Service delivery and the individual experience within health and human services (HHS) is often very siloed and fragmented.
In this episode, Marianne Steger explains why health care for Pre-Medicare retirees and active employees just got easier.
Government organizations around the world are experiencing the consequences of plagiarism firsthand. A simple mistake can lead to loss of reputation, loss of trust and even lawsuits. It’s important to avoid plagiarism at all costs, and government organizations are held to a particularly high standard. Fortunately, technological solutions such as iThenticate allow government organizations to avoid instances of text plagiarism in an efficient manner.
Creating meaningful citizen experiences in a post-COVID world requires embracing digital initiatives like secure and ethical data sharing, artificial intelligence and more.
GHD identified four themes critical for municipalities to address to reach net-zero by 2050. Will you be ready?