In 7 US states, rape victims can be legally forced to share custody of their children with their rap

Shauna Prewitt was a 21-year-old college senior in 2004 when she was raped and impregnated by her attacker. Her decision to keep her child -- a baby girl -- brought with it an unexpected twist: her rapist sought custody of their daughter when she was born.

Prewitt is not alone.

Women in seven U.S. states can be legally forced to share custody of their children with their rapist fathers -- including in Maryland, where an all-male panel failed April 10 to pass legislation that would have allowed victims who have children from rape to block rapists' parental rights.

"They have the same rights as any other biological father," said Lisae Jordan, an attorney and executive director of the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

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