Bill denies rapists custody to children conceived during rape

Lawmakers advanced bill on Monday

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A bill now moving in the Florida Legislature would prohibit a convicted rapist from having any custody rights if the rape resulted in a child.

The bill (SB 964) would allow for a father's parental rights to be cut off if his child "was conceived during an act of sexual battery." It cleared the Senate Criminal Justice committee unanimously on Monday.

A staff analysis said at least 19 states allow for the "termination of parental rights in cases where the parent is the father of a child conceived as a result of ... sexual assault or incest."

A federal appeals court upheld the concept behind the law by noting the Constitution doesn't forbid states from penalizing a "father's illicit conduct by refusing to grant him parental rights."

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