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44 New Eng. L. Rev. 193 (2009-2010)
Pregnancy as a Result of Unlawful but Non-Forcible Sexual Conduct Is Not a Form of Great Bodily Injury

handle is hein.journals/newlr44 and id is 195 raw text is: COMMENTS:
Sabrina Bonanno**
Abstract: Pregnancy resulting from unlawful but non-forcible sexual
conduct is treated differently depending on the jurisdiction where the offense
takes place. In People v. Cross, the Supreme Court of California affirmed the
defendant's conviction by holding that a pregnancy can be considered a form
of great bodily injury (hereinafter GBI). In contrast to California,
Wisconsin and Nebraska list pregnancy and GBI as specific elements of the
sexual assault statute. Thus, the Wisconsin and Nebraska statutes outline a
clear distinction between the two elements.
The application of GBI should be reserved for the most severe physical
injuries. To define pregnancy as GBI is to reduce the significance of the term
as it is applied to physical attacks that leave a victim on the verge of being
maimed or deformed for life. Also, in light of societal views of pregnancy,
where pregnancy is generally celebrated, it is inconsistent to define a
pregnancy as GBI. Further, in the civil context, liability for an unwanted, but
healthy child generally does not exist, while in the criminal context, a
sentencing enhancement for GBI can result from an unwanted pregnancy.
Instead pregnancy should be listed as a specific element of the sexual assault
Hereinafter the terms great bodily harm, serious bodily harm, and serious bodily
injury will be referred to as great bodily injury since that is the term defined in the
California statutes and used by the Supreme Court of California in People v. Cross, 190
P.3d 706 (Cal. 2008).
** Candidate for Juris Doctor, New England School of Law (2010). B.A., Political Science,
cum laude, Flagler College (2007). Additionally, I would like to thank my parents, Sam and
Vickie, for always providing me with their unconditional love, support, and guidance. I
would also like to thank my brother Mike for being a constant source of inspiration.

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