Senate approves Jones bill to end rapists’ parental rights

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Tuesday approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones to allow a court to terminate a rapist’s parental rights to a child who is a result of the person’s rape of the mother.

“After 31 years in law enforcement, it sickens me that a perpetrator who conceives a child in a rape would seek access to the child, and I can’t imagine the hell it must put the mother through,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “It is important that we stand up for victims by ensuring that if someone is raped and a child in conceived, the rapist does not get custody rights to the child.”

Senate Bill 629 would allow a court to terminate a person’s parental rights to a child if that child had been conceived as a result of the person’s criminal sexual assault of the mother.

Jones said that the parental rights can already be terminated after conviction of rape, but SB 629 would allow the rights to be terminated upon “clear and convincing evidence,” similar to other reasons for losing parental rights, such as domestic abuse.

“Rape is usually not about sex; it’s about power and rapists often continue to assert their power over their victim when they learn about a pregnancy — sometimes demanding that the woman get an abortion. By passing this bill, the Senate is stating loud and clear that a rapist should have no say concerning the health and well-being of a child resulting from his criminal act.”

SB 629 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.