State representative Chip Baltimore is blocking legislation that would keep convicted rapists from having parental rights to the children who were conceived due to the rape. This Iowa republican favors parental rights for convicted rapists and dismissed the proposed bill as “feel-good” legislation.
His take on it: “It’s a feel-good piece of legislation that quite honestly is dissociated with reality in the real world with the way the criminal justice system and the judicial system work. It’s a far more complicated situation, honestly, than most people acknowledge. I get the general concept. I understand the general concept. But it’s a concept that needs a lot more work.” [Emphasis added]
Allow me to continue while you pick your jaws up off the floor. This guy actually thinks it’s a good idea to force rape victims to have at least another 18 years of forced legal contact with their rapists. Parental rights could mean visitation (once any sentence is served) or even joint custody. It could certainly mean child support from the rape victim.
Jennifer Carlson of the University of Iowa’s Rape Victim Advocacy Program lays down some “real world” logic that Rep. Baltimore should heed. “Often, we see this desire for custody or involvement in the child’s life as nothing more than an extension of the power and control and an element in which (the attacker) can continue to have an impression and a domination of their victim.” And Baltimore is OK with this happening.
Another Iowa representative, Bob Kressig (D), is trying to work with Republican house members to draft a version of the law that both parties can get behind. I applaud his efforts though I find the fact that anyone has to spend time (and taxpayers’ dollars) on a more acceptable version of this law is repugnant.
In what universe is it logical, sane and humane to force a woman to share custody of a child borne as the result of rape with her rapist? I’d almost like to peek inside Baltimore’s head to see how it all makes sense to him. Frankly, I’d be too scared to do it even if I could. First of all, I’m not sure how much is actually there to be seen in his mind and second, I’m afraid it’s contagious.
Imagine if you will, a beautiful holiday season. The smells of a wonderful dinner are wafting through the house, a light snow is falling outside and everyone is filled with good cheer. Everyone except Mommy; she’s a little tense. The closer it gets to 3PM, the worse her anxiety becomes. See, at 3PM she has to bundle her two-year-old daughter into the car and take her to the nearest police station where she will hand her wee one off to her father for the holiday weekend.
So what? It happens all the time with divorce, right? Well, Daddy Dearest raped Mommy two years and nine months ago and some moron in the state legislature worked to make sure Daddy Dearest had the right to file for shared custody. Even though the nice police officer is there at the hand-off to make sure everything’s fine, Mommy can’t help but experience flashbacks of the night she was brutalized. Not to mention the fear she feels at handing her daughter to a convicted sex offender. Guess whose holiday is going to suck? If you guessed Mommy’s, you win. If you didn’t, shame on you.
I would never, in a million years, advocate violence such as rape. However, I have to wonder how Baltimore would feel if his daughter (if he even has one) or maybe his wife was subjected to the horrific violation of personhood that is rape. Would he think that making sure the rapist could see the baby was a great idea? Or, would “reality in the real world” intrude upon his backward thinking as he saw his child’s or wife’s turmoil each and every time she had to see her attacker and deliver her child to him?
In the realm of “Did he really say that?” this one takes the blue ribbon. My advice to Iowa voters who supported Baltimore:
Keep a close eye on your wives & daughters because your state government sure isn’t.