Despite a 1996 state law that prohibits charging rape victims for forensic exams or kits used to collect evidence after a rape, three counties in Georgia have been charging women as much as $1,200 to cover costs that the law states should be paid for by law enforcement. Exams performed on rape victims are criminal investigation tools police use to catch and prosecute rapists; police departments do not charge the victims in any other type of criminal investigation. Rape victim advocates at the Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault (GNESA) worry that the high cost of the tests and police departments’ lack of additional funding to cover the costs mean the burden has shifted to the victim. GNESA advocates also worry that police officers are not ordering rape exams for victims in order to avoid incurring the cost of the examinations. Paying for the examinations with insurance introduces additional patient privacy concerns, as insurance companies may discriminate against the victim if she/he has been exposed to HIV. Victims may also be forced to reveal the assault to the primary insurance holder, which could be a family member or an employer.
Media Resources: Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault; Atlanta Journal-Constitution – March 5, 2001
5/27/2015 California Passes Reproductive FACT Act - The California State Assembly passed the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act yesterday.
AB 775, or the FACT Act, passed 48-25 in a vote, and requires that unlicensed facilities in California that provide pregnancy-related services disclose that they are not licensed medical providers. . . .
5/26/2015 Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage - Over the weekend, the people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly to pass a national referendum legalizing same-sex marriage.
Ireland became the first country in the world to pass marriage equality through popular vote on Friday. . . .