The United Kingdom is considering new legislation that would make it easier to convict rapists, even if the victim was intoxicated at the time of the rape. The proposed law is an effort to address “non-stranger” rapes, also known as date rapes, where establishing consent and an intoxicated person’s ability to grant consent is crucial, Times Online reports. According to Solicitor General Mike O’Brien, the law is also necessary to target rapists who deliberately get their victims drunk in order to force sex upon them, according to This Is London.
Currently, UK law holds that an intoxicated woman is able to give consent as long as she is still conscious. Alcohol consumption is a major impediment to the successful prosecution of a rapist; according to The Observer, the Crown Prosecution Service often advises women who were drunk at the time of their rape not to bring their cases to court because they have little chance of being believed by a jury. Only 12 percent of reported rape cases actually go to court, and about 5 percent of alleged rapists are convicted in the UK, Times Online reports.
Media Resources: Times Online 10/15/06; The Observer 10/15/06; The Independent 10/16/06; This Is London 10/15/06
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. . . .