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House, Senate negotiators agree on disallowing rapists’ parental rights
In early negotiations, Children and Family Law Committee chair Rep. Mary Beth Waltz, D-Bow, said the provision allows 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.
But the bill’s prime sponsor, Sen. Bette Lasky, D-Nashua, said the provision muddies the waters. Why would a woman who decides to terminate her rapists parental rights then turn around and seek child support that would open her up to contact with her rapist, she asked.
Waltz, who could not be at the meeting, has agreed to sign the report.
The bill has bipartisan support across the political spectrum from the N.H. Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence to the conservative Cornerstone Policy Research, and from the Diocese of Manchester to National Abortion Rights Action League of NH.
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