Samantha Bee Loses Her Cool Over Rapists Having Parental Rights And The Lack Of Support From Congress And States
Samantha Bee, from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, has uncovered lots of terrible truths over the years. From police not being required to report the number of people they shoot in a year to Joe Biden’s touchy grabby ways with women, we can count on Bee to deliver factual reports time after time, despite the comedic undertones.
So perhaps that’s what makes her latest story so downright sickening.
In her segment on April 8, Bee sat down with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) who said:
Right now, a woman doesn’t have any right, across America, to terminate her rapist’s parental rights.
Female rape victims have to fight long battles to have their rapist’s parental rights dissolved in court, and sometimes they are unsuccessful, which means they are tethered to their rapists through their children for 18 years.
It happened to Shauna Prewitt, who was raped her senior year in college, when she was 21 years old. Prewitt sat down with Bee and told her that when her child was six months old, her rapist wanted partial custody of the baby and it took her two years of facing her rapist in court before his parental rights were dissolved.
Her case is what inspired Prewitt to become a custody rights attorney and is working to enact federal guidelines that would encourage states to pass laws that would dissolve rapists of their parental rights.
We know that about 32,000 women each year become pregnant through rape. At least a third of them go on to raise that child. So we’re looking at, you know, at least 10,000 potential custody battles every single year in this country.
After hearing those numbers, Bee walks off set screaming.
When she returns with Rep. Wasserman Schultz, the Congresswoman tells her that they introduced legislation called the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act, which she says had bipartisan support by both pro-life and pro-choice groups. The Florida congresswoman expected this bill would pass easily into law, considering most bills don’t have that kind of support on both sides of the political aisle.
But the bill never even got a hearing.
Again, upon hearing that sad fact, Bee walks off set, screaming.
The reason why the bill didn’t pass? There was a small spending provision of $5 million dollars a year for five years, and because of the penny-pinching GOP congress, it was just too much for them to end women being tethered to their rapists for their child’s entire life.
Do you know how much the government spends on promoting fruits and vegetables on social media every year? Five million dollars a year Hashtag #Getfruved.
Eventually Rep. Wasserman Schultz rewrote the bill, which fixes the spending, and feels like this time the bill will get its vote.
The only problem? If the bill was to pass, the affects wouldn’t be automatic. It would then only provide incentives for states to change their laws individually.
Why do states even need an incentive to change the law that would free women from never having to hand their children over the their attackers?
Prewitt thinks she has the answer:
I think the problem is that it goes back to this suspicion that legislators have of raped women. Not only that but some women have been threatened by their attackers who have said if you stop [the] criminal process against me I will agree not to seek any custody or parental rights.
So women have to choose between dropping charges or custody cases.
Watch a short clip below, or click here to be redirected to The Daily Show’s entire episode (Samantha Bee starts at 4:30):