Pennsylvania Hospitals Required To Provide EC To Rape Survivors

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Rape Survivors

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Pennsylvania's Independent Regulatory Review Commission on Thursday adopted regulations proposed by the state Department of Health that will require hospitals in the state to provide access to emergency contraception to rape survivors, the Philadelphia Inquirerreports. According to officials from the Health Department, hospitalscan apply for an exemption due to religious or moral objections butmust inform rape survivors of the availability of EC.

JoanneCorte Grossi, deputy secretary for health promotion and diseaseprevention at the Health Department, said the state cannot implementstricter restrictions because of laws governing health care facilitiesand religious freedom. The regulations must be reviewed by the stateattorney general's office, but no objections are expected, healthdepartment officials said.

Larry Frankel, legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania,said that "more work needs to be done to make sure that every[survivor] of rape is given the complete care that she should get as amatter of course." He added, "It should not matter which hospital shegoes to, because she doesn't get to choose that. There are better waysof accommodating those with religious objections." State Rep. DaylinLeach (D) -- sponsor of a billpending in the Legislature that would implement tougher restrictions onhospitals regardless of religious affiliation -- said, "When you starttalking about transporting a woman who has been raped, it's veryproblematic." He asked, "If this was your daughter ... would you wantthat for her?" (Couloumbis, Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/19).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyWomen's Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for emaildelivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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