Maryland’s two largest women’s advocacy groups have urged the state’s highest court to say that consensual sex can become rape if a woman says no at any time, says the Baltimore Sun. It’s a conclusion reached by courts of seven other states. To have the law say anything else, victim advocates say, denies people the right to control intimate access to their bodies in favor of another person’s unwanted and perhaps violent sexual demands.
“Most women can think of a number of very legitimate reasons why a woman would want someone to stop,” said Jennifer Pollitt Hill, executive director of the coalition, listing pain, absence of a promised condom, violence, and a partner’s confession that he is HIV-positive among them. The top courts in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, and South Dakota have ruled that a woman may turn her “yes” to “no” at any time. In 2003, Illinois become the first state to adopt a no-at-any-time law. North Carolina courts rejected that line of thought in a 1979 decision. A recent Maryland ruling took its cue from a 1980 Maryland opinion that “if she consents prior to penetration and withdraws the consent following penetration, there is no rape.”