Nebraska is working to remove the parental rights of convicted rapists for the child and mother's well-being. Senator Avery helped pass LB 182 to make it into a law, allowing the courts to enforce child support with relinquished rights to the child.
With the proposed bill introduced on January 14, 2013, in a Republican state and by a Democratic Senator, the only exception to the law would be if the mother wished to allow parental rights from the rapist, and if the judge decided it would be in favor of the child’s best interests.
Senator Bill Avery, born in 1942, is a retired university professor. Since 2007 he has been an elected member of the Nebraska Legislature Unicameral. A popular man, he has been spoken as a "thoughtful, common-sense approach to lawmaking. He stands on his principles, but he also carefully weighs specific legislation and comes to debate impressively well informed." His popularity comes from statements like, "Avery is willing to consider banning lawmakers from debating or voting on an issue where lawmakers specifically 'stand to gain or lose financially'.”
Avery introduced a legislative bill in 2012 that would protect Nebraska schoolchildren, and in January of 2013 he introduced a bill that would allow “children conceived within three years of the parents’ death to qualify for an inheritance or other benefits as long as the parents gave written permission before dying.”
He was also part of a group of Senators who provided "$100,000 in state funds to provide prenatal care for a very small group of pregnant women who refuse to provide the names of the fathers of their unborn children because of domestic violence."
LB 182 came to Avery's mind after he heard of an Illinois young woman who was raped when in college. When she became pregnant, her rapist unsuccessfully tried to gain control of her child.
"The man was never convicted, but served his accuser with custody papers while she pursued charges against him," according to Omaha.com.
According to Avery, no such case exists in Nebraska, but he chose to introduce LB 182 as a preemptive measure. He felt that the rapist's act was an insult to the mother and child, so passing a Nebraska law in advance was a good idea as 31 states had no legal protection for mother and children.
"It is not conceivable to me that the father of that child, conceived through sexual assault, should have any rights to visitation, custody or anything of that kind," Senator Bill Avery of Lincoln said in the Nebraska Central News.
Nebraska's LB 182 will move now to the Legislature's Judiciary Committee for review.