Legislators grapple on rapists' parental rights bill
Children and Family Law Committee chair Rep. Mary Beth Waltz, D-Bow, said the provision would allow the mother another avenue to seek child support, while the Senate version forces a woman to decide whether to terminate parental rights or go the child custody route with child support.
The bill’s prime sponsor, Sen. Bette Lasky, D-Nashua, though, said the provision muddies the waters. She wondered why a woman who would decide to terminate her rapist’s parental rights, would then turn around and seek child support, only reopening her up to contact with her rapist.
Lasky said the Senate version of the bill is a clean break and clearly establishes two separate paths for the mother.
The bill has bipartisan support across the political spectrum from the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence to the conservative Cornerstone Policy Research, and from the Diocese of Manchester to NARAL NH.