By The Northeast Missississippi Daily Journal/Tupelo, Miss.
TUPELO, Miss. —
The Mississippi House passed a bill that would require identifying by blood/DNA verification the identities of men who impregnate underage girls, with the goal of prosecuting them at least for statutory rape.
The bill, supported by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant and Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood, is a reasonable and necessary step in nailing criminals and, arguably in the long term, being able to demand child support payments.
Our state has a disturbing list of demographic pathologies related to babies, child bearing and individual reproductive behavior that is costly, sometimes criminal and often predictive of poor outcomes for children as they grow, mature and enter adolescence and adulthood.
House Bill 151 would require physicians or midwives to collect umbilical cord blood when a baby is born to a mother who’s younger than 16 and the mother doesn’t reveal the father’s name.
House Judiciary B Committee Chairman Andy Gipson said a DNA test, using the cord blood, could determine who the father is. He says if the father is an adult, authorities could pursue statutory rape charges. Adult men impregnating underage girls is a far too common behavior, and any measure that could discourage it and lead to prosecution for rape serves a good purpose.
Other facts about children, parenthood and the status of children in Mississippi suggests our poor state has deep-seated, widespread problems related to behaviors that are widely tolerated and, even worse, largely ignored...
The House bill is just one step. Many other pathologies... need to be addressed in some way.