HONOLULU (AP) — A parent of a child conceived through rape in Hawaii could lose parental rights if they’re accused of sexual assault.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed a bill Wednesday which aims to deprive rapists of parental rights.
Before the new law, parental rights could only be terminated if the perpetrator was convicted of rape. Now a parent can lose their rights if a court finds there’s “clear and convincing evidence” of sexual assault, which is less difficult to prove.
The Hawaii Attorney General’s Office says rape is one of the most under-prosecuted crimes, with less than 5 percent of rapes leading to convictions.
The National Conference on State Legislatures says there are more than 17,000 rape-related pregnancies in the U.S. every year.