The House unanimously passed a bill on Monday con containing a key provision authored by state Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh.
The bill would update Pennsylvania’s domestic relations law as it pertains to support and custody of children conceived by rape or incest.
House Bill 945, authored by state Rep. Angel Cruz, includes Schlossberg-sponsored language that would require the father of a child conceived by rape or incest to pay child support even if parental rights are terminated.
Schlossberg undertook this mission to eliminate a painful decision for women who’ve had to choose between receiving child support and terminating the parental rights of a rapist.
“This bill is about one thing: Protecting the victims of rape, including a child conceived from that harrowing experience,” Schlossberg said. “If this bill becomes law, mothers will no longer have to fret about losing financial security if they wish to completely sever ties to the perpetrator of a heinous crime.”
The House Judiciary Committee last year approved Schlossberg’s H.B. 836, which sought to eliminate that dilemma but was folded into part of a larger reform package via the Cruz bill.
“I sincerely hope this bill becomes law, because no woman should be forced to remain in this precarious position,” Schlossberg said. “As a society, we must provide avenues to eliminate such compounded suffering.”