AUGUSTA – The sponsor of a Maine bill about rape victims’ rights says the proposal would make it easier for victims to strip their attackers of parental rights to children conceived as a result of rape.

Sen. Bill Diamond, a Windham Democrat, has proposed the law change. Current Maine law says a man convicted of rape can be stripped of parental rights to children conceived during the crime. However, Diamond says the standard of proof is too high.

Diamond’s bill would allow victims to petition the court to terminate their attackers’ parental rights without a conviction by presenting “clear and convincing evidence” that the child was conceived as a result of rape.

Diamond’s proposal was the subject of a public hearing on Wednesday. The Maine Women’s Lobby testified in support of it.

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