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Missouri Senate advances bill on parental rights, rape

jefferson city

Missouri Capitol Building in Jefferson City.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Senate has given initial approval to a proposal to make it easier to terminate a father’s parental rights, if the child was the result of rape.

The measure , adopted Monday, would allow judges to terminate a father’s parental rights if there’s evidence that he raped the mother, resulting in her pregnancy. The judge would also have to weigh whether that would be in the child’s best interest.

Republican Sen. Rob Schaaf says he’s concerned that the father wouldn’t first need to be convicted of rape.

Proponents say few rape cases are prosecuted and the change would help hold abusers accountable.

The bill would also require the man to pay child support even if his rights were terminated.

It needs another vote to move to the House.