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Government and Politics

Ohio Democratic senators are praised by pro-lifers for rapist custody bill
Cleveland's Turner says she's surprised but pleased by the unexpected support

Karen Kasler
State Sen. Nina Turner of Cleveland introduced a bill to keep rapists from gaining custody of the children of their victims.
Courtesy of Ohio Statehouse
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Two Democratic senators have introduced a bill to ensure sex offenders have no parental rights if their victims choose to keep or adopt out children conceived in rapes.

The bill from senators Nina Turner of Cleveland and Charleta Tavares  of Columbus was inspired by the story of a woman who had to fight her rapist for custody of her child. And Turner says she was “speechless” when she learned that Ohio Right to Life had personally praised her and Sen. Tavares, who both strongly support abortion rights.


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“We should seize those opportunities when we can," Turner says. "I think we are all, unfortunately in this climate of vitriol, always fighting. So, it is refreshing in a way, although it’s kind of strange. Even I don’t know quite how to deal with this."

Turner says the bill’s purpose got new meaning last week, when convicted kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro asked a judge about his parental rights. Castro is serving life in prison for holding three Cleveland women hostage for a decade, fathering a child by one of them. 

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