Hospitals May Be Forced To Tell Rape Victims Of Emergency Contraception

Bill Failed Twice In Previous Years

Democratic Rep. Betty Boyd proposed a bill Monday that would require all hospitals to inform sexual assault victims of the availability of emergency contraception.

The bill had been introduced the past two years but both times the bill died in a Senate committee. Proponents are hopeful this year since there is a majority of Democrats in the Legislature, and say the bill will be beneficial to the 300,000 women who are sexually assaulted every year in America because it gives a woman the needed information to make a decision about what is best for her.

Of the 300,000 women assaulted every year, between 25,000 and 32,000 become pregnant as a result, 7NEWS reported.

Marianne Mayer, who was sexually assaulted seven years ago by a co-worker, said she supports the measure.

"I wasn't given the information that I should have gotten," Mayer said.

Even today, she says it an attack that remains with her.

"I know how tough it is," she said.

Hospitals across the state currently have the choice to distribute information about the emergency contraception if they want but some choose not to. The bill would change that.

"If women get this information within 120 hours after being raped, they can prevent the additional trauma of an unintended pregnancy in addition to the trauma of the rape," said Boyd. "Rape is about a loss of control and you need to be able to give that control back to the victims so that they can move forward in their healing process."

Opponents say it's another form of abortion.

"Two wrongs don't make a right and it is never more true than in a situation like this," said Philip Hendricks, with the Right to Life group. Hendricks said the bill distorts the truth about pregnancy, not explaining that it occurs at fertilization.

"The attempt is to redefine pregnancy to when the embryo is implanted into the mother's womb and that is just factually incorrect," Hendricks said.

"Colorado law codifies a medical definition, not a faith-based definition. Certainly people of faith disagree on that definition," Boyd said.

House bill 1042 passed through the Health and Human Services Committee with a 9-4 vote. The proposal now heads to the House floor for second reading. If it passes, anti-abortion advocates plan on asking the governor to veto the bill.

Print this article Back to Top