As much as state and federal level law makers seem to be hating on women lately, it seems the legal system still has out backs. Two preliminary steps were made moving society in the right direction; one by the court system in Oklahoma and one by the F.B.I.
This week the F.B.I. convened a subcommittee meeting of it’s Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board to discuss the possibility of updating the current definition of rape, a first since 1929. The committee unanimously voted to support the change. In case you don’t remember the current definition is “carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” This definition leaves out a broad range of victims and is exclusive to women. The recommended definition approved is “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”
Up next the new definition will go to the International Association of Chiefs of Police and other working groups to get feedback before going to the full Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board for a final recommendation. The board will meet in December. Once that is formalized it will go to the head of the F.B.I Robert Mueller for final approval. Many police departments from around the country have already expressed the need to the definition to be updated so hopefully this change will go smoothly.
The second good thing is that the law in Oklahoma that would have banned medication abortions as of November 1st has been temporarily blocked by Judge Dan Owens. The defense claimed that 8 women have died from the off label use of mifepristone and misoprostol, the two drugs used to induce an abortion. The lawyer for the Center for Reproductive Rights pointed out that these deaths had been investigated by both the Centers for Disease Control and FDA and neither organization found a causal relationship between the medications and the deaths. The law blocking their use is meritless and has only one purpose: to prevent women from access abortion. Judge Owens seems to recognize that.
So yay for moving in the right direction. Hopefully if this trend continues, those silly Republicans will realize that most Americans support abortion rights and equal protection for rape victims and stop trying to move backwards.