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EC in the ER!!
2002-07-05, 2:11 p.m.

For more than four years, an FDA-approved pregnancy prevention measure known as emergency contraception has been available to hospitals and healthcare providers for reducing the risk of unintended pregnancy among rape and incest survivors. Yet many hospitals, typically faith-based, still deny emergency contraception to women who have survived a sexual assault. EC should be available to all women, but there is absolutely no excuse for denying it to women facing such a critical situation.

Just as alarming, these same hospitals often refuse to refer women to other health care facilities that may help them. Many do not even inform patients of the availability of emergency contraception.

These unethical policies are cruel and undermine a woman’s right to information about her own best medical treatment options. Further, they place an additional burden on women who are particularly vulnerable because of post-rape trauma and stress. A sexual assault survivor may have already delayed seeking treatment at the hospital. Since it is best for women to initiate treatment for reducing the risk of pregnancy within 72 hours, any refusal of service will further delay a woman’s access to this basic reproductive health care service.

Women who suffer sexual assault should not have to face the additional trauma of an unwanted pregnancy. They also should have immediate access to all necessary information and health care treatment, regardless of which hospital treats them.

Voluntary compliance is not working. Congress must step in now and ensure that emergency contraception is available to all those who need it, when they need it most.

On March 22, 2002 Rep. Connie Morella (R-MD) launched the Compassionate Care for Female Sexual Assault Survivors Act. The bill would require hospitals nationwide to dispense emergency contraception to survivors of rape and incest. More than 300,000 women are sexually assaulted each year in the U.S., and about 25,000 of them become pregnant as a result. Twenty-two thousand of these pregnancies could be prevented if all rape survivors used emergency contraception. Started within 72 hours of an assault, emergency contraception can reduce the risk of pregnancy by as much as 89 percent. And initiated within 24 hours, that risk is reduced by as much as 95 percent.

TAKE ACTION NOW by writing a letter to your U.S. Representative. CLICK HERE!

previous entries:

Anyone? - 2008-01-24
Saturday Film Series at The Free Speech Zone - 2005-12-30
SLC? - 2005-12-21
Please Post - 2005-07-24
From ImpeachBush.org - 2005-06-20

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