Md. bill to end parental rights of rapists takes another step forward in Senate

WASHINGTON — A bill to end the parental rights of rapists appears poised to clear the Maryland Senate after passing on second reading Friday morning.

The bill, which has been declared a priority by Senate and House leaders as well as Gov. Larry Hogan, is set for a third reading on the Senate floor and has been cross-filed in the House.

During Friday’s debate, Sen. Dolores Kelly, D-Baltimore, urged her colleagues to resist adding amendments to the bill. “In nine prior years this bill has been before the two chambers, and we’ve not been able to get it out. I don’t think we need to start adding Christmas tree lights at this point — we’d like to move it forward.”

Lisae Jordan, executive director and counsel at the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said one amendment was welcome: a change that would make it an emergency bill: “That means that if it passes, and it gets through the House and the governor signs it, it will be effective immediately and we can start helping survivors who are pregnant as the result of rape the very next day.”

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