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
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .