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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

December-17-08

Several Massachusetts Hospitals Violating Emergency Contraception Laws

A statewide survey released yesterday by NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts found that staff at several hospitals may be in violation of a 2005 state law that requires emergency rooms to offer emergency contraception (EC) to rape survivors. The survey was conducted by a researcher posing as a rape crisis counselor who called 70 emergency rooms statewide to inquire about providing emergency contraception to a rape victim.

The survey's findings (see PDF) indicate that 7 of the 70 hospitals surveyed may be in violation of the 2005 law, with problems appearing to be more likely at Catholic facilities. Two Catholic hospitals that are part of the Caritas Christi Health Care system were identified as failing to offer EC. Both facilities reportedly told the researcher that "no, we don’t do that, you know we're a Catholic hospital," according to the Boston Globe.

In a press release, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts Executive Director Andrea Miller said: "Three years ago, the commonwealth recognized that women who have survived the ultimate violation of rape deserve compassionate care, including access to emergency contraception to safeguard against getting pregnant from the attack…This apparent backsliding is unacceptable because it could leave women with no guarantee that they will get appropriate emergency care."

Media Resources: NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts Press Release 12/16/08; Boston Globe 12/16/08; NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts 2008 EC Survey


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