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Editor:

Dear Wyoming, are you aware that rape victims in our state who conceive a baby from their rape must share the parenting of their child with their convicted rapist? I first took note of this as the result of an article on CNN in November that detailed all of the states that do not sever any parenting rights of the convicted rapist. I didn't believe it was true until I contacted one of my friends in the legislature. He verified it and said that there would be a bill this session to take care of it. I thought such a bill would get plenty of media attention -- that anyone, regardless of political party affiliation, could see that this is unjust to rape victims and their children. Where was the media on this? Silent. The bill went completely unnoticed. In fact, it didn't get assigned a bill number until nearly the last minute, and then it was pushed through the minerals committee. In the end, it wasn't heard on the House floor because no one cared enough to stand up for rape victims and demand that it be heard. Where were the women marchers, the women's advocacy groups, the pro-life supporters? Where were the mothers, the teachers, the law enforcement? It makes me sick that we are letting these victims down. I don't care if you're a Democrat or a Republican, a Deplorable or if you were "with her." If you're human and not a rapist, you should see why fixing this issue in WY is so important. The bill is HB216. If there's any way for this bill to be resurrected then I feel we must contact our legislators and demand that they push it through into law. Wyoming should not be known as a state that protects the parental rights of rapists while inflicting added emotional trauma on rape victims. We can do better than that. We are better than that.

APRIL POLEY, Gillette

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