Sharia court orders jail for rape victim unless kids handed to rapist. Wait … I meant Alabama.

By SemDem | 16 June 2019
Daily Kos

(Credit: Wikicommons / Mark Taylor)

A young woman from Birmingham, Alabama was raped and impregnated four times by her uncle. She was just 12-years old when the raping started: her mother’s half-brother would constantly climb in her bed. She endured this hell for years:

Raped at 14, she miscarried.

Raped at 16, she gave birth to a baby boy.

Raped at 18, she gave birth, but her child died from a disease common to incest cases.

Raped at 19, she gave birth to her second son.

Despite the DNA evidence, her uncle was never convicted of rape. It wouldn’t matter if he was anyway. In Alabama, a rapist is entitled to visitation rights, and can even sue for custody. It’s one of only two states that allow this.

However, this horror takes on new meaning in Alabama, because last month the state passed a law outlawing the destruction of embryos for ALL victims of sexual assault. The law even prescribes jail for doctors who perform the procedure. In fact, the only exception to the law is given to in vitro fertilization labs, which routinely destroys tons of fertilized eggs; yet this is deemed okay because rich, white Christian women use them.

Now that abortion is outlawed for all rape survivors in Alabama, the survivor is forced to bear child. At the very least, you’d think the lawmakers would fix the loophole (assuming it even is a loophole) that would allow the rapist custody and visitation. Well, actually, one Alabama lawmaker did try to do just that by introducing a bill to terminate the parental rights of rapists. Unfortunately, this being Alabama, “pro-life” lawmakers amended the bill to only pertain only to people who rape their OWN children and require that the rapist be convicted of first-degree rape.

Alabama lawmakers prattled on about how the first-degree rape conviction is needed to prevent fraud and abuse. Much like their “voting fraud” claim, it’s all fake. Yet lawmakers failed to explain why multiple lessor offenses can terminate parental rights in Alabama without a conviction. Drug use and neglect, for example, only require “clear and convincing evidence”; but not rape.

These lawmakers obsessed with protecting the rapist either didn’t know or didn’t care that their actions only encourage women to seek abortion, since they now know that their ordeal won’t end when the rape is over. These monsters, on the other hand, have it pretty good: they get to choose the mother of their children regardless of whether she consents or not, the woman will be forced to bear child, and it will be entirely up to the rapist how involved he will be in his victim’s life.

For this one particular young woman in Birmingham, it’s already been a nightmare.

“It’s sickening. I’ve spent my entire life scared to death of my rapist, and now, I’m fighting him for custody of my children.”

Even though she was the one who was violently and sexually violated, the criminal is the one calling the shots—and the only jail time being threatened has been directed at the victim:

The man that raped Jessica still has visitation rights to her two children. The judge told Jessica she’d have to spend 48 hours in jail for each visit she denied her rapist.

Even Florida isn’t this backwards—anymore, at least. In 2010, a Florida woman’s rapist tried to get full custody of her child. Thankfully, she got a sane judge who was interested in the circumstances in how the child was conceived. The woman, Analyn Megison, went on a crusade to convince Florida lawmakers to pass protection for rape survivors. President Obama even signed the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act, which gave states federal funding for rape victim advocacy programs if those states pass a similar law not requiring criminal conviction.

Alabama passed on that.

Terminating parental rights for rapists is too cruel, according to the Alabama GOP. They only want to terminate parental rights for truly terrible crimes—like being a Guatemalan immigrant coming here with her toddler to escape violence.

Putting on a robe doesn’t always mean conservatives rise to the occasion. Case in point: Roy Moore, the Chief Justice of the Alabama SCOTUS. He was a credibly accused child molester who often sided with the defendants in child rape and other sex crime cases. I’d say avoid this state altogether, but the problem isn’t just in Alabama. It’s other states with GOP-dominated legislatures.

In Nebraska, a young woman was violently attacked and her rapist was charged with first-degree sexual assault; however, he was allowed to plead to a lesser charge of third-degree sexual assault. In Nebraska, this protects his parental rights:

“Now, I have to text my rapist or email my rapist. To leave my daughter with someone I didn’t trust. (I’m) forced to parent with him and to see him on a weekly basis … to talk to him about my daughter’s school activities and her health.”

Now the rapist has been granted unsupervised visits that just continue to grow longer:

Ohio is another state that requires a conviction to terminate parental rights. Their recent “heartbeat” law brought attention to the state because an 11-year old child, who was raped and impregnated by a 26-year old, is now required to bear the rapist’s child.

This isn’t happening in Iran, Saudi Arabia, or another Middle Eastern country the GOP attacks for having Sharia courts. This is happening right here in the U.S. The Taliban has nothing on the GOP when it comes to subjugating women.

If you are fortunate enough not to live in one of these GOP-dominated states, you are still not safe. Keep in mind what Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump have been 100% focused on doing: completely remaking America’s courts by putting right-wing conservative, misogynist judges for lifetime seats at every level. A third of judicial appointments have now been hand-picked by Trump, and they are frightening. One new judge blamed women for their own rape, another compared abortion to slavery, and yet another said birth control is an assault on religious liberty. It doesn’t make a lick of difference if you are in a blue state—your rights are in danger.

I get irritated when I hear Democrats and Independents say they will consider “moderate” GOP candidates. These candidates are in the mold of Susan Collins of Maine: they’ll decry what is happening, but will always vote to confirm the monsters who are making it possible.

These horrible stories aren’t just anomalies in red states, but rather the end game of what the GOP wants for the rest of us.

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41 COMMENTS

  1. It’s disingenuous to say Sharia law is happening in Alabama. Just like some laws, within the US judicial system, are not good it’s only as impactful as the judge or prosecutor behind them. Sharia law is the legal system within Muslim countries based on Islam. Most of it is pretty common sense and straightforward but again only as impactful or negative as the people, typically men just as here, make it. I say it’s disingenuous because saying sharia law takes the blame off of the US judicial system. And while sharia law has its negatives and its detractors this kind of headline and rhetoric continues to vilify muslims. Who like anybody else in the world are not a monolith.

    • The comparison with the more extreme and misogynist Sharia laws is entirely apt. The USA constantly proclaims itself as the leader of the free world and yet it allows a situation like this to exist. I wonder how free women in Alabama feel. To me this just highlights the fact that no religion has any place in government. Extreme fundamental christians are just as foul as extreme fundamentalist muslims.

  2. I live in Canada and Newfoundland is almost like Alabama – punish the victim and reward/free the guilty seems to be the unspoken motto.

    • this has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam – that's just this reporter inflaming an already horrific situation by trying to deflect attention away from this being largely the act of extremist Christians…it's state laws not Sharia courts in play here.

  3. This is a MASSIVELY misleading headline. this has absolutely nothing to do with Sharia courts and EVERYTHING to do with backward so-called CHRISTIAN lawmakers, mostly men I will wager, who seem to have missed the message in their own religious texts. Like protect all the children.

    • If they were Christian Lawmakers they would be protecting those children from the rapist in the first place. They are clearly not True Christian Lawmakers at all if they do not put the mother and children's welfare above the rapists rights in the first place. It's disgusting. As a Christian woman I would have cut this piece of craps nuts off and fed them to him. I'm already forgiven of whatever sins I'm going to make in my life so yeah this piece of garbage needs to go.

    • Not to mention abortion is not illegal and the bill they tried to pass where almost abortions including rape victims couldn’t seek help has been blocked by a federal judge. Full of misinformation.

  4. Why is it talking about sharia law in the heading. That is outrageous. I am a muslim and that is not what islamic law allows. I am offended by the aspersion…

  5. This publication shouldn't have used this pic for this article. Muslims get beat up over everything anyway and suggesting via the picture that this has ANYTHING to do with Islam is really troubling. Sharia law is so misunderstood and doesn't mean anything at all that people think it does, especially something that some whack christians have put into law here.

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