August 02, 2006

CARE Act needs to be passed

From the letter to the editor of the Intelligencer, 8/2/06, from the director of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape on behalf of the CARE Coalition:

Now is the time for Pennsylvania's General Assembly to pass the CARE Act--Senate Bill 990 and House Bill 2159--introduced by Sen. Joe Conti, Sen. Connie Williams and Rep. Bill DeWeese.

The CARE Act is critical legislation that would protect the rights of rape victims by ensuring that they receive comprehensive medical care, including emergency contraception, when they go to the emergency room. A recent poll indicated that 84 percent of Pennsylvanians support rape victims having access to emergency contraception in the emergency room.

EC is a time-sensitive, FDA-approved medication that works just like birth control. It is proven to be at least 89 percent effective in preventing pregnancy when taken up to 120 hours following a rape. EC prevents pregnancy and is not abortion (it is not the French abortion pill RU-486); it will not disrupt or harm an existing pregnancy.

According to a survey, more than 50 percent of Pennsylvania's hospitals do not inform or provide emergency contraception when a rape victim goes to the emergency room.

It is estimated that one in 10 Pennsylvania women has been the victim of forcible rape in her lifetime. Please support the CARE Act and help assure that these women receive the support and CARE they need to begin the road to recovery.