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Governor Wolf Expected to Sign House Bill Protecting Survivors Who Become Parents Through Sexual Assault

By Donovan Levine

Governor Tom Wolf is expected to sign House Bill (HB) 1984, according to a press release statement by Adam Kulikowski, communications director at Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR).  The bill was unanimously passed by the Pennsylvania House and Senate unanimously and supports sexual assault victims and their children. 

HB 1984 ends the  requirement to give an assaultor the right to parenthood of a child born through rape or sexual assault.


Once HB 1984 is signed into law by the governor, victims will no longer have to jump through arbitrary legal hoops in court to terminate the parental rights of the person who raped them.   

As Kulikowski’s pointed out, having an absent, abusive person have the same rights as the present, actively engaged person who chose to become a parent after surviving rape is rather absurd.

“PCAR and the rape crisis centers across that Commonwealth that we represent thank members of the Senate, House and lead sponsor Rep. Kerry Benninghoff for their support of HB 1984,” said PCAR Policy Director Donna Greco. 

“When advocating for this bill, every single person we talked with could not believe this was current law and that victims and their children in Pennsylvania were facing this reality. We know today that victims can raise their child as a single-parent if they wish—and that household can be a stable, loving home free from abuse. This is a sensible policy for rape victims and their families when they choose to have, love and parent their child,” Greco commented.
For more on PCAR’s organization, visit their website.

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