Jeb Bush and rapists’ rights

Why should a man be deprived of the joys of fatherhood just because the woman he got pregnant was incapable of giving consent?

So the Florida courts have decided that Jeb Bush can’t force a pregnant thirteen-year-old girl to carry the child to term. Note that, under Florida law, thirteen is well below the age of consent, making her legally the victim of rape.

The Governor’s insistence that rapists receive the full reproductive advantage of their crimes isn’t limited to statutory rape. Last year, Jeb asked the courts to appoint a guardian for the fetus of a developmentally-disabled woman (with an estimated mental age of 1 year) who had been raped in a group home.

I’ve said some rude things about Gov. Bush in the past. But his willingness to speak out for the interests of the most despised segments of the population — rapists and child molesters — suggests that a mind of truly sweeping compassion lurks behind that smug, self-satisfied face.

I look forward to Jeb’s campaign for President. If he runs, I will do everything in my power to make his strong stance for rapists’ rights known to the voters.

Update A reader informs me that Florida doesn’t use the term “statutory rape.” Sex without consent or with someone under 12 is “sexual battery;” under 15 with consent makes it “lewd battery,” a second-degree felony.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: