STATEHOUSE – A bill to protect women who are victims of violence and their children passed the House Judiciary Committee today 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.
“As the mother of four young adult daughters and grandmother for a first time, I know our family has been blessed,” said Rep. Ellspermann. “However, my heart breaks to even consider the trauma that a victim of rape endures.”
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.
“There are women who are determined to keep the baby, and we must do everything in our power to provide them with the support that they need during a difficult time. This is a difficult issue to talk about, and I know it is an epidemic in our nation, which is why we must begin to address these issues now and make our state more responsive to rights that victim’s not only deserve, but need,” said Rep. Ellspermann.
The bill will now be heard by the full House.