Cumberland Times-News

April 1, 2013

Law should protect victims of rape who become pregnant

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— What if you were raped? What if you found out you were pregnant as a direct result of rape? What if you chose to birth and raise that child? Are you aware your rapist has parental rights?

What happens when you know your rapist and they decide to fight for visitation and you lack a conviction in court knowing the judicial bias in proving rape? What will you do? Where do you turn for help?

This is a reality that raped victims who become pregnant as a result of rape face and must challenge in order to protect their child.

We need laws to protect the victim and the rights of children born from sexual assault. More than half our states including Maryland have no statutes in place to protect the victim enabling the rapist to threaten and intimidate their victims whist being granted parental rights. This must change.

I seek support and attention of anyone in our community who would be interested in providing guidance to those facing this legal battle, to raise awareness that rape victims do become pregnant.

Please have a voice, spread information and resources that might be of aid to those struggling.

Please call Senator George C. Edwards: (410) 841-3565, or e-mail george.edwards@senate.state.md.us and ask him to support SB620 and support rape victims who become pregnant as a result of rape.

Meissa Clayton

Cumberland