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At the age of 12, a young woman from Birmingham was raped repeatedly and impregnated four times by her mother’s half-brother who would climb into her bed almost nightly. This wasn’t the case of occasional confusion followed by deep remorse, all brought about by drinking far too much. No, these were sober and deliberate acts committed by a member of her own family, possibly with the knowledge of other family members.
Here’s the frequency line:
1) Raped at 14, she miscarried.
2) Raped at 16, she gave birth to a baby boy.
3) Raped at 18, she gave birth, but her child died from a disease common to incest cases.
4) Raped at 19, she gave birth to her second son.
Her uncle was never convicted of rape, despite mounds of DNA evidence, not that It would matter anyway because in Jesus country a rapist is entitled to visitation rights, and can even sue for custody; one of only two states that allow such an outrage.
This unthinkable horror takes on new meaning in Alabama because in May of this year the state passed a law outlawing the destruction of embryos for ALL victims of sexual assault. This unbridled example of contempt for human rights even prescribes jail for doctors who perform the procedure. In fact, the only exception to the law is given to in vitro fertilization labs, which routinely destroy thousands of fertilized eggs but this is okay because rich Christian women use them.
Now that abortion is outlawed for all rape survivors in Alabama, the survivor is forced to bear the child. At the very least, you’d think the lawmakers would fix the loophole (assuming it even is a loophole) that would allow the rapist custody and visitation.
Well, one Alabama lawmaker did try to do just that by introducing a bill to terminate the parental rights of rapists. Unfortunately, this being Alabama, “pro-life” lawmakers amended the bill to only pertain only to people who rape their OWN children and require that the rapist be convicted of first-degree rape.
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Alabama lawmakers prattled on about how the first-degree rape conviction is needed to prevent fraud and abuse. Much like their “voting fraud” claim, it’s all fake. Yet lawmakers failed to explain why multiple lessor offenses can terminate parental rights in Alabama without a conviction. Drug use and neglect, for example, only require “clear and convincing evidence” but not rape.
These lawmakers, obsessed with protecting the rapist, either didn’t know or didn’t care that their actions only encourage women to seek abortions since they know their ordeal won’t end when the rape is over. The rapists, on the other hand, have it pretty good: they get to choose the mother of their children regardless of whether she consents or not, and the woman will be forced to bear that child.
For this one particular young woman in Birmingham, it’s already been a nightmare.
“It’s sickening. I’ve spent my entire life scared to death of my rapist, and now, I’m fighting him for custody of my children.”
Even though she was the one who was violently and sexually violated, the criminal is the one calling the shots—and the only jail time being threatened has been directed at the victim:
The man that raped Jessica still has visitation rights to her two children. The judge told Jessica she’d have to spend 48 hours in jail for each visit she denied her rapist.
Even Florida isn’t this backwards—anymore, at least. In 2010, a Florida woman’s rapist tried to get full custody of her child. Thankfully, she got a sane judge who was interested in the circumstances in how the child was conceived. The woman, Analyn Megison, went on a crusade to convince Florida lawmakers to pass protection for rape survivors. President Obama even signed the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act, which gave states federal funding for rape victim advocacy programs if those states pass a similar law not requiring criminal conviction.
Alabama passed on that.
Terminating parental rights for rapists is too cruel, according to the Alabama GOP. They only want to terminate parental rights for truly terrible crimes—like being a Guatemalan immigrant coming here with her toddler to escape violence.
Putting on a robe doesn’t always mean conservatives rise to the occasion. Case in point: Roy Moore, former Chief Justice of the Alabama SCOTUS was a credibly accused child molester who often sided with the defendants in child rape and other sex crime cases. I’d say avoid this state altogether if you can, but the problem isn’t just Alabama, it’s other states with GOP-dominated legislatures.
In Nebraska, a young woman was violently attacked and her rapist was charged with first-degree sexual assault; however, he was allowed to plead to a lesser charge of third-degree sexual assault. In Nebraska, this protects his parental rights:
“Now, I have to text my rapist or email my rapist. To leave my daughter with someone I didn’t trust. (I’m) forced to parent with him and to see him on a weekly basis … to talk to him about my daughter’s school activities and her health.”
Now the rapist has been granted unsupervised visits that just continue to grow longer:
Ohio is another state that requires a conviction to terminate parental rights. Their recent “heartbeat” law brought attention to the state because an 11-year old child, who was raped and impregnated by a 26-year old, is now required to bear the rapist’s child.
It’s important to keep in mind this isn’t happening in Iran, Saudi Arabia, or another Middle Eastern country. This is happening right here in the United States, and it’s not Sharia law we’re discussing, but good old fashioned Christian law. The Taliban has nothing on the GOP when it comes to subjugating women.
If you are fortunate enough not to live in one of these GOP-dominated states, you are still not safe. Keep in mind what Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump have been 100% focused on doing: completely remaking America’s courts by putting right-wing conservative, misogynist judges for lifetime seats at every level.
A third of judicial appointments have now been hand-picked by Trump, for a total of 187, and they are frightening indeed. One new judge blamed women for their own rape, another compared abortion to slavery, and yet another said birth control is an assault on religious liberty. It doesn’t make much difference if you are in a blue state—your rights are in danger because of these twisted judges many of whom received unsuitable ratings by the American Bar Association.
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Democrats and Independents often say they will consider “moderate” GOP candidates. These candidates are in the mold of Susan Collins of Maine: they’ll decry what is happening, but will always vote to confirm the monsters who are making it possible.
These terrible tales aren’t just Red State anomalies but rather the end game of what the Republican Party wants for the rest of us. We are watching the slow but inevitable demise of America.
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