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In Alabama, A Woman Who Is Raped Can Be Forced To Co-Parent With Her Attacker (But She Can’t Seek An Abortion)

Following the passage of an overly restrictive abortion law in the state of Alabama, attention has turned to an appalling problem: women in the state may be forced to co-parent with their attackers if the pregnancy was the result of an act of rape or incest.

Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

The option for abortion in these instances was something women in Alabama could utilize to prevent such a thing from happening. The state is one of two in the nation that allows for rapists to apply for co-parental rights, The Independent reported.

But that option could be made illegal, if Alabama’s restrictions on abortion are upheld in the courts.

The only justification that’s allowable under Alabama’s new abortion law is if it’s a necessary procedure to save the mother’s life. In all other circumstances, a woman must carry a fetus to full term, the law stipulates.

Some have openly worried about the possibility that a woman could be forced to not only carry a fetus to full term, but have to actually include their attacker in their lives thereafter. Lawmakers in the state tried to address the issue last month, but were blocked from doing so by opponents who feared women could make false accusations against the would-be fathers of their children.

“Taking a person’s child away is a grievous act. And if it is done to an innocent parent, you are also denying the child a fit parent forever and putting her into the sole custody of a ruthless parent who is willing to fabricate a heinous accusation,” National Parents Organization Chairman Ned Holstein said.

The issue brings to light one of the most egregious aspects of the abortion debate facing the nation presently, as a host of states pass restrictive laws: that women seem to be the only ones being punished if they seek an abortion, or having to face any consequences of any kind if they have an unwanted pregnancy, while men face no repercussions whatsoever.



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