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50 State Survey of Prosecutors’ Willingness to Prosecute Nonconsensual Insemination  

Author:  Carmen M.  Cusack, J.D., Ph.D.

Source: Volume 06, Number 03, Winter 2014 , pp.7-32(26)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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Nonconsensual insemination occurs when one partner wishes to terminate unprotected intercourse prior to insemination, but the other partner fails to comply. Males and females can be victimized if their wishes for withdrawal are not respected. Males and females can victimize their partners. This research asserts that nonconsensual insemination is a criminal event under existing laws, such as battery, sexual battery, and rape statutes. A survey about the likelihood of prosecution for nonconsensual insemination described in a hypothetical scenario was submitted to approximately nine prosecutors in each of the 50 states. The researcher hypothesized that some prosecutors would prosecute, and that female prosecutors would be more likely than males to prosecute, based on literature that shows that males demonstrate more rape-supportive attitudes and more frequently engage in victim-blaming. Fifty-six prosecutors from 34 of the 50 states responded. Approximately 43% of respondents said that they would prosecute (N = 24/56); 57% of the total respondents were male and 43% were female. When asked if prosecutors would prosecute based on a nonconsensual insemination scenario, 75% of the “yes” responses were from female respondents (N = 18/24). Eighty-one percent of the “no” responses were submitted by males (N = 26/32).

Keywords: unwanted pregnancy; unlawful STD transmission; implied consent; birth control; Responses by State; Choice of Law Under Which to Prosecute; Gender Differences in Responses; obscure code health codes

Affiliations:  1: Keiser University .

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