STATEHOUSE – A bill to protect women who are victims of rape and their children passed the House unanimously. State Rep. Sue Ellspermann (R-Ferdinand) is cosponsoring Senate Bill (SB) 190 that would allow a woman who has been raped to file a petition in court to terminate the biological father, the rapist’s, parental rights.
“When enacted, this statute will ensure women who have been raped and children conceived of rape are protected from the advances of the perpetrator if he tries to establish parental custody or visitation,” said Rep. Ellspermann. “Though rape is an underreported crime, conservative estimates are that 1 in 7 women will be raped. Tens of thousands of children are conceived as a result of rape. We believe and pray enactment of SB 190 will result in more women choosing to have and raise their child with the peace of mind that Indiana law will protect them.”
It is difficult to know how many women conceive during a rape since sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes in the United States. The FBI reports that less than 28 percent of sexual assaults are reported to police. In Indiana it is estimated that one out of every seven women are victims of rape. Women who would conceive during a rape have the ability to abort.
The bill will now move on to the governor for approval to be signed into law.