CA High Court Rules That Rape is Still Rape if Victim Changes Mind
In a ruling that changes the legal definition of rape in California, the CA Supreme Court ruled recently that rape could still occur if a victim changes his or her mind during sexual intercourse. The 6-1 ruling rejected a 1985 ruling that said that no rape occurs when there is original consent even if the victim changes her mind. “One can readily imagine situations in which the defendant is able to obtain penetration before the victim can express an objection or attempt to resist,” wrote Justice Ming Chin in the courts opinion as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle.
The case involves two teenagers from El Dorado County in March 2000. John Z., the defendant, argued that the sex was consensual. Laura T. said that she tried to end the intercourse and told him three times she needed to go home. “Just give me a minute,” he replied, according to the opinion as reported in the LA Times.
While the Feminist Majority and other women’s groups applaud this decision because rape can often occur without obvious signs of resistance, the likelihood of a conviction without those obvious signs of resistance is still low. According to statistics from the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), only 39 percent of all rapes are reported to police. Of those cases reported, only 16.3 percent of the perpetrators will end up in prison.
Media Resources: LA Times 1/7/03; SF Chronicle 1/7/03; Sacramento Bee 1/7/03; Associated Press 1/6/03
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .