This isn't right at all, men should not have a say with anything dealing with women's rights.
April 16, 2017
As the 2017 legislative session wound down Monday evening, five men sat on couches in a lounge inside Maryland's State House. They would soon decide the fate of a bill that would allow a woman who is raped and conceives a child to terminate the parental rights of her assailant.
Maryland is one of 16 states that has not passed such a law. Women here still have to negotiate with an alleged rapist over custody or putting the child up for adoption.
It was the ninth time Del. Kathleen Dumais had tried to pass the law. It had progressed further in the state legislature than ever before by passing both houses. But there were substantial differences between the House and Senate versions, so a conference committee of three delegates and three senators was chosen to negotiate a single bill.
Neither Dumais nor any other woman was asked to be on the committee.
"Although I have great respect for colleagues, not having women on the committee was tone-deaf," Sen. Cheryl Kagan said. The Montgomery County Democrat stood over over the men at the conference with her arms crossed, overseeing the group with Sen. Delores G. Kelley, a Baltimore Democrat.
"I wanted to watch as the conscience for women and rape survivors," Kagan explained.
The committee members were chosen by Del. Joseph F. Vallario Jr., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Robert Zirkin, chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.
Vallario said the all-male committee "was never intended that way."
Edited by KSweeley, 16 April 2017 - 04:42 PM.