Rape Victims Not Routinely Offered Emergency Contraception
A survey of Pennsylvania hospital emergency departments shows that only one in three hospitals routinely offer emergency contraception (EC) to survivors of rape, and half of these hospitals have no standard procedure for counseling patients about EC. Moreover, at many hospitals, the provision of EC is entirely dependent on the will of individual physicians. Women who utilize Catholic hospitals are even less likely to be offered EC. Of Catholic hospitals, only 6 percent routinely offered EC to sexual assault victims or had procedures in place to counsel women on EC. “It is unsettling that so many victims of sexual assault aren’t even being counseled about emergency contraception, much less offered it,” said study author Dr. Ashlesha Patel of the University of Illinois at Chicago. “The standard really should be routine [counseling and provision].” According to Dr. Patel, rape results in an estimated 25,000 unintended pregnancies each year. A great proportion of these pregnancies could be avoided through the use of EC, which can prevent pregnancy when used within 72 hours of sexual intercourse.
The Feminist Majority Foundation has launched a nationwide campaign for over-the-counter emergency contraception. To learn more or to join our campaign, visit www.PrescribeChoice.org.
Media Resources: Reuters Health, 5/6/02; Feminist Majority Foundation
10/17/2014 Student Activists Across the Country Are Fighting Extreme Anti-Abortion Ballot Measures - In Tennessee, North Dakota, and Colorado - three states deciding ballot measures aimed at restricting birth control access and outlawing abortion in the upcoming election - student activists are mobilizing to get out the vote.
Members of student-ledFeminist Majority Leadership Alliancegroup Vanderbilt Feminists at Vanderbilt University have been working tirelessly to get out the word about Tennessee's Amendment 1, which would take the right of privacy for reproductive rights out of the state constitution and give local legislators the power to restrict access to abortion, even in the case of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman, and outlaw many forms of birth control, such as the IUD or the pill. . . .