New Hampshire Senate Moves to Take Parental Rights from Dads, but not Moms Guilty of Sexual Assault

March 9, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.

Earlier today, a reader emailed me to suggest I do a piece on underage boys being made to pay child support for a child conceived via sex with an adult, for example a teacher. It’s a common phenomenon and the law is clear in all states I’m familiar with – the boy must pay to support his child despite the fact that, by law, he was raped by the woman. I emailed back saying I’d do that the next time it came up in the news.

Well, apparently all I had to do was type the words, because, while this article isn’t exactly what he was looking for, it’s close (My Champlain Valley, 3/6/14).

All rape laws are based on the concept of lack of consent. If sexual intercourse occurs and the victim didn’t consent, we call that rape. Statutory rape laws wire around the issue of consent by presuming that, if a person is under a certain age, say 15, he/she isn’t mature enough to give consent. Therefore, lack of consent is not an element of the crime of statutory rape. Lack of consent is a legal given based solely on the age of the victim.

Much has been written and no little outcry heard regarding the fact that, when adult women rape underage boys, they’re routinely let off with much more lenient sentences than when the sexes are reversed. The article linked to takes that to yet another level.

The New Hampshire Senate has passed Senate Bill 253. Here it is in its entirety:

AN ACT relative to grounds for termination of parental rights.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 New Section; Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship in Cases of Sexual Assault. Amend RSA 170-C by inserting after section 5 the following new section:

170-C:5-a Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship in Cases of Sexual Assault. A petition for termination of the parent-child relationship shall be granted in cases where the child’s birth is the result of sexual assault of the birth mother and where termination of the parent-child relationship is in the best interests of the child. This section shall apply to a person who has been found to be the father of a child and who:

I. Has been convicted of or who has pled guilty or nolo contendere to a violation of sexual assault as defined in RSA 632-A:2 through RSA 632-A:4, or a similar statute in another state against the birth mother for his conduct in fathering the child; or

II. At a fact-finding hearing, is found beyond a reasonable doubt to have fathered the child through an act of non-consensual sexual penetration.

2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2015.

Notice the deliberate sexism of the bill. Boys and men aren’t protected; only women and girls are. In the past two years, there have been a fair number of bills before various state legislatures that would have taken away the parental rights of perpetrators when a child is conceived by sexual assault or rape. I found it odd that those bills even existed given the fact that they were all, as far as I’d seen, gender neutral in their language. That would have meant that, had they become law (which none of them did), adult women who rape underage boys would have lost their rights to any child that resulted.

But now we have the real deal. The wording of the New Hampshire bill fixes the “problem” that mothers might have to bear some civil responsibility for sexually assaulting boys. It’s explicitly sexist in that it applies only to males who father children. Women who rape boys needn’t fear losing their parental rights. That, together with the aforesaid leniency given female rapists, makes for a pretty smooth ride for the 35-year-old teacher who takes a shine to her 14-year-old student.

Into the bargain, far from losing her parental rights, she’s likely to get sole custody. After all, the boy is a minor and sure to be at best only semi-capable of caring for a child. In most such cases, the boy’s parents are usually available to do the real childcare, but no matter. Mom gets primary or sole custody and junior pays child support.

That of course is exactly the way the anti-dad crowd likes it, and I’m certain they’re just thrilled at the passage of SB 253 by the Granite State Senate.

The fact is that this is the latest attempt to roll back the modest gains fathers have made in family courts over the past few years. As such it can only be seen in the context of feminism’s ceaseless effort to expand the definition of rape and sexual assault.

According to many radical feminists, rape consists of sexual behavior that few people would recognize as a crime of any sort. Did the bride and groom imbibe champagne on their wedding night prior to consummating their vows? Well, as those feminists see it, he’s a rapist and she’s a victim. It doesn’t matter that they’re both equally impaired. In the radical feminist understanding, despite his blood-alcohol level, the man is fully able to form the mens rea (the criminal intention) of the crime of rape. But the woman, because of her blood-alcohol level is utterly incapable of the mental capacity required to consent to sex with her new husband.

By any gender-neutral standard, that feminist jurisprudence would yield the rather bizarre result of both the man and the woman being both rapists and victims of rape. But of course these radicals have no intention of gender neutrality.

Yet another example is a bill currently before the California legislature that would require not merely consent, but “affirmative” consent. What’s that? Cathy Young described it this way:

What the affirmative consent standard requires is not just communication about sex; it’s constant awareness that you may be raping your partner if you don’t read the signals properly and if you fail to notice that there’s some ambiguity to be cleared up. 

Via the alchemy of radical feminism, what began as the legitimate desire to protect women from being forced into sex at knifepoint has become an attack on men for failing to notice that their sexual partner wants a little more of this or a little less of that.

The point being that laws like the one on “affirmative” consent and the many that attempt to conflate tipsy sex with rape have not only the aim of putting in prison an ever-increasing number of men and boys, but of taking away their parental rights as well.

When they read about New Hampshire SB 253, many people may get the impression that it’s all about forcible rape and, well, who’d object to depriving a rapist that of any child that resulted? But it’s not just about forcible rape, it’s about a range of behaviors that are much more ambiguous and less offensive to the conscience.

Thus, for example, if a psychologist has sex with a former patient less than a year after the termination of their therapeutic relationship, he’s committed “aggravated felonious sexual assault” of his former patient (New Hampshire Revised Statute 632-A:2 I(g)). Under SB 253, if she became pregnant thereby, regardless of how consensual their relationship might be, she could get a court order terminating his parental rights.

This is a movement whose goal is limiting the parental rights of men but not those of women even though women are fully capable of sexually assaulting men and boys. If the proponents of such measures want to protect us from sexual assault, they need to protect all of us, not just women.

I don’t know if state legislators will notice or care about the overt sexism of bills like SB 253, but here’s a prediction I’m confident of: if bills like it become law, the very next step on the road to absolute domination of all aspects of parenting and parental rights by mothers will be the enactment of an exception to the rule that we don’t impose responsibilities without also according rights. That will mean keeping in place the child support obligation for fathers who’ve been convicted of sexual assault while depriving them of their parental rights.

Count on it.

National Parents Organization is a Shared Parenting Organization

National Parents Organization is a non-profit that educates the public, families, educators, and legislators about the importance of shared parenting and how it can reduce conflict in children, parents, and extended families. Along with Shared Parenting we advocate for fair Child Support and Alimony Legislation. Want to get involved?  Here’s how:

Together, we can drive home the family, child development, social and national benefits of shared parenting, and fair child support and alimony. Thank you for your activism.


NewHampshireSenate, #rape, #sexualassault, #parentalrights, #feminism

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