Ohio Right to Life Testifies in Favor of Rape Victims Rights Bill

Legislation to Protect Rape Victims and their Children

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Today, Kayla Smith, Director of Legislative Affairs at Ohio Right to Life, offered testimony in favor of Substitute S.B. 207 before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. The bill, introduced by Sens. Tom Patton, R-Strongsville, and Gayle Manning, R-North Ridgeville, would protect rape victims and their children, during pregnancy and after birth.

The pro-life provisions of Substitute S.B. 207 include:

  • A victim/birth-mother can place her child for adoption without the legal consent of the offender if the child who is being placed was conceived by rape or sexual battery.
  • A victim can obtain a court order to terminate the offender’s parental rights if the child was conceived by rape or sexual battery.

“We applaud legal safeguards that will limit the interaction a victim potentially faces with her offender both during and after pregnancy,” said Smith. 

Last summer, Ohio Right to Life commended the introduction of a similar bill by Sens. Charleta Tavares, D-Columbus, and Nina Turner, D-Cleveland. The bill came in the wake of the Cleveland case in which one of three kidnapped women gave birth to a daughter fathered by kidnapper and captor, Ariel Castro.

“We are encouraged by all initiatives that prevent further trauma from being inflicted on the mother and her child,” continued Smith. “As we’ve said from the beginning: Laws that enable mothers to take control, make positive choices and affirm the lives of their children and their family are critical to assist with the recovery process.”

Ohio Right to Life thanks Sens. Patton and Manning for protecting the victims of sexual assault and their unborn children.

To read Kayla Smith’s testimony, click here.

Founded in 1967, Ohio Right to Life, with more than 45 local chapters, is Ohio’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement in Ohio, ORTL works through legislation and education to promote and defend innocent human life from conception to natural death.  


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