Arizona’s SB1007 has received high praise from lawmakers as it makes it easier for women to terminate parental rights if they have been impregnated from rape. Arizona is the latest state to enact the law, and it will do so on September 29th. In order to terminate parental rights from a rapist, there is no need for “a criminal conviction of a rape or assault, instead of benefitting from “clear and convincing evidence.” In response, lawmakers like Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) are championing SB1007, calling for other states to pass similar “pro-women-pro-survivor laws.”
The bill passed the Arizona state legislature unanimously with four senators abstaining from a vote. It was then directed to Governor Doug Ducey’s (R) desk to be signed, and lawmakers are hoping that other states will follow suit in implementing a similar law.
Arizona state Senator Victoria Steele (D), a sexual assault survivor who introduced the bill, praised the passing of the bill, arguing that “women shouldn’t be forced by law to share parental rights with rapists,” adding that “words cannot express how elated and grateful I am to my Republican and Democratic colleagues in the House for passing my bill and finally sending it to the Governor.”
Steele concluded that “no one should be tethered to their rapist and abuser for life by being forced to share parental rights.”
Victims of rape who have also lost custody of their children to their rapists have also championed the passage of the bill.
Arizona now joins a list of other states including Colorado, Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Texas that have adopted the civil standard and that are not requiring a criminal conviction to terminate parental rights of the rapist.
Rep. Wasserman Schultz (D) took to Twitter to call for more states to follow suit.
Rapists should not have parental rights. Period. Arizona’s new law helps ensure that. We need more states to pass these pro-women, pro-survivor laws. Thanks @lalasoo, @thelilynews & @washingtonpost for the spotlighthttps://t.co/rwSY9gXxSm
— Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) September 24, 2021
“Rapists should not have parental rights. Period,” stated Rep. Wasserman Schultz wrote, commenting that “Arizona’s new law helps ensure that.”
In turn, “we need more states to pass these pro-women, pro-survivor laws.”