In Alabama, A Rape Survivor Is Fighting Her Rapist For Child Custody

A rape survivor is fighting her rapist for custody because Alabama law does not terminate rapists' parental rights.

Rape crisis advocate Portia Shepherd at the Family Services of North Alabama office was shocked to hear from a woman who she was raped at 15 by her step-uncle that he now wants partial custody of the child, according to Independent.

The step-uncle, who was released from prison after a drug conviction, wants to be a part of the child’s life. The state of Alabama has no law terminating parental rights for persons whose child was conceived by rape or incest, meaning this rapist potentially could gain custody of his victim’s child.

The absence of laws against parental rights for rapists has gained new relevance in a state that just passed the nation’s strictest abortion law, which has effectively banned all abortions except when the mother’s life is in danger. The Alabama law has been challenged in court and won’t take effect for another 6 months.

State Senator Vivian Figures reported that she didn’t know there was no law preventing rapists of gaining custody in Alabama, but that she now plans to introduce a bill in the next legislative session.

Read the full story here.

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