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Missouri Legislature approves bill on parental rights, rape

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Legislature has passed a bill making it easier to terminate a father’s parental rights if the child was the result of rape.

The bill, approved by the Senate in a 32-0 vote, would allow a judge to end a father’s parental rights if there was “clear, cogent, and convincing evidence” that he raped the mother, resulting in the pregnancy. The judge would also have to consider whether termination was in the child’s best interest.

Women would still be eligible to receive child support if the father’s rights were terminated.

The bill will next go to the governor’s desk.