Saturday, March 17, 2007

Colorado To Require Hospitals to Tell Rape Survivors About Emergency Contraception

Via the Denver Post, Rape victims must now be told options:

Gov. Bill Ritter on Thursday signed a law requiring hospitals to tell rape victims about the availability of emergency contraception, capping a years-long effort by Sen. Betty Boyd to make the pills more readily available....

Ritter, a Catholic who opposes abortion, noted the bill's exception for medical professionals who have religious or moral objections to personally providing the information. However, the measure requires that hospitals - even Catholic institutions - find someone on staff to relay the information.

"A lot of people spent a lot of time working very hard on this bill," said Ritter, a Democrat. "Thanks for bringing it to me in this fashion, giving me the ability to sign it into law."

Learn more about emergency contraception (also known as the "morning-after pill").  Given the time-sensitivity of emergency contraception (it is most effective when taken within 72 hours after intercourse), a bill requiring hospitals to provide the medication itself, not just information about it, would more effectively help rape survivors prevent a pregnancy resulting from the rape.  The Colorado bill, however, does rightly omit any exemption for Catholic hospitals (although apparently individual health care providers may refuse to provide the information).  Since a rape survivor may well not have a choice about which emergency room ends up treating her, and since Catholic hospitals treat patients without regard to a patient's religious persuasion, Catholic emergency rooms should be required to give patients information about all available options.  Read more at Planned Parenthood.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/reproductive_rights/2007/03/colorado_to_req.html

Contraception, Religion and Reproductive Rights, State and Local News, State Legislatures | Permalink

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