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'The Daily Show's Samantha Bee did an eye-opening report about rapists and parental rights.

It's kind of shocking in how many states it's totally legal for a rapist to sue for parental rights.Trigger warning for discussion of sexual assault.

It's really rare for a politician to have a slam-dunk piece of legislation with support from all sides of the political spectrum. But Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz thinks she's got one.

Her bill is based on a simple, widely supported concept:


Seems reasonable enough, right? There's no way a rape victim should have to see their attacker over and over.

Plus, it's not like this is all that common, right? I mean, take it from former Rep. Todd Akin. Here's what he had to say about women becoming pregnant as the result of rape:

(I'm leaving out the nonsense about women being able to "shut that whole thing down.")

Wrong! It's actually surprisingly common.

Here's what Shauna Prewitt — who went through a two-year custody battle with her attacker — has to say about that:

And some rapists will use the threat of a custody battle to get the survivor to drop charges against them.

But how is this legal?

Well, in a number of states (highlighted in red), even convicted rapists can sue for custody or visitation rights for children born as the result of their crime.

It's beyond messed up.

Since parental rights are handled at a state level, Wasserman Schultz's bill ("The Rape Survivor Child Custody Act") wouldn't actually change existing laws.

It would just offer incentives to states to revamp their own custody laws.

Prewitt supports Florida's law, which requires that a rapist either be found guilty or plead guilty in order for parental rights to be terminated.

"The court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the child was conceived as a result of an act of sexual battery. ... It is presumed that termination of parental rights is in the best interest of the child if the child was conceived as a result of the unlawful sexual battery."
— Florida's 2013 parental rights law

But what's horrifying is that in many other states, someone can be convicted of rape and still fight for custody of the child.

The Rape Survivor Child Custody Act is just the first step in ending the nightmare that so many of these survivors are forced to relive over and over.


Watch Samantha Bee's full report on "The Daily Show":

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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RumorGuard by The News Literacy Project.

The 2016 election was a watershed moment when misinformation online became a serious problem and had enormous consequences. Even though social media sites have tried to slow the spread of misleading information, it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

A NewsGuard report from 2020 found that engagement with unreliable sites between 2019 and 2020 doubled over that time period. But we don’t need studies to show that misinformation is a huge problem. The fact that COVID-19 misinformation was such a hindrance to stopping the virus and one-third of American voters believe that the 2020 election was stolen is proof enough.

What’s worse is that according to Pew Research, only 26% of American adults are able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

To help teach Americans how to discern real news from fake news, The News Literacy Project has created a new website called RumorGuard that debunks questionable news stories and teaches people how to become more news literate.

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Family

A mom describes her tween son's brain. It's a must-read for all parents.

"Sometimes I just feel really angry and I don’t know why."

This story originally appeared on 1.05.19


It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

It's a familiar scenario for those of us who have raised kids into the teen years. Our sweet, snuggly little kids turn into moody middle schoolers seemingly overnight, and sometimes we're left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.


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