Virginia House Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee Shoots Down Two VDH Sex-Ed Hotline Bans

The Virginia House of Delegates killed legislation that would have banned the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) staff from reaching out to minors about topics including sex, family matters, and unwanted pregnancy without parents’ permission. On Thursday, the Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee voted to table SB 1235 after it passed in the Senate with narrow bipartisan support.

“This a parental rights [bill],” SB 1235 sponsor Senator Mark Peake (R-Lynchburg) said in subcommittee on January 28. “It just says that before anyone can contact our children anonymously, that they have to get parents permission.”

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State Legislators Propose Bill to Expand Criteria for Removing Child Custody, Visitation, and Inheritance Rights from Rapists

Companion bills State Representative Debra Moody (R-Covington) and State Senator Paul Rose (R-Covington) introduced the companion bills. These bills propose to remove custody, visitation, and inheritance rights for a parent convicted of statutory rape, aggravated statutory rape, or lesser included offenses of rape from which crime the child was conceived.

Current Tennessee Code prohibits custody, visitation, and inheritance rights for these types of rape: § 39-13-502, § 39-13-503, and § 39-13-522. If the companion bills are passed, the Code would also prohibit those rights for a parent who is convicted of aggravated statutory rape as outlined in § 39-13-506 or statutory rape by an authority figure as outlined in § 39-13-532. The legislation would also apply those same restrictions on a parent who is convicted of or pleads guilty or no contest to a lesser included offense.

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