Letter: Give women ability to withdraw consent

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 11, 2019

In light of the current sex scandal involving Jefferey Epstein and probably other members of our ruling political class, it might be of interest to note a disturbing aspect of N.C. law which undermines the safety and dignity of women in our state.

As a result of a state Supreme Court ruling, a generation ago (State v. Way, 1979), it is established law in N.C. that, if a woman gives initial consent to a man to engage in sexual activity, she relinquishes any legal recourse if things should become inappropriate or abusive.

This is true even if she clearly asks the man to stop. This legal absurdity has no standing in any state in the union other than N.C.

For a number of years, there have been attempts in the legislature to overturn this ruling. During this year’s session, as in the past, Sen. Jeff Jackson, D-Mecklenburg, and Sen. Danny Britt, R-Columbus, co-sponsored reform legislation that would have finally put an end to this immoral and dangerous law.

Unfortunately, once again, the Senate Rules Committee did not allow the Jackson/Britt proposal on the Senate floor for debate and possible passage. The Rules Committee is not required to offer any public explanation for their decisions.

Out of respect for the women of North Carolina, we should demand that during the next session of the legislature our local representatives (Reps. Harry Warren, Julia Howard and Larry Pittman as well as Sen. Carl Ford) support and even possibly sponsor legislation to end this injustice.

— Karen Townsend

Mt. Ulla