WISCONSINREPORT.COM (12/12/07) - The Senate lead author of the Compassionate Care for Rape Victims bill applauded Assembly adoption of the bill and commended the Assembly author for his leadership on the bill. Former Senate Democratic Leader Senator Judy Robson says the vote shows it is not a partisan issue. The bill passed the Assembly 56 to 41. However, because of a procedural objection to a third reading in the Assembly, the bill will receive final Assembly approval in January and then will return to the Senate for concurrence. The bill then goes to the Governor.
“Enactment of this law means that we can have peace of mind that any woman who suffers the trauma of rape will not have to suffer the added anguish of an unwanted pregnancy,” Robson said.
“Emergency contraception will be available. It will be offered. And it will be dispensed if she requests it. It will be a decision made by the victim, not by the hospital or doctor,” Roson explained.
“I am heartened by the broad support this bill received from both Democrats and Republicans,” Robson said. “The vote shows that Democrats and Republicans can work together and achieve consensus. Emergency contraception is the standard of care recommended for rape victims by the American Medical Association. This is really important for a woman who suffers the trauma of rape," Robson commented.
“I commend Rep. Terry Musser and Rep. Mark Pocan for their leadership on this bill. Rep. Musser’s unwavering commitment to getting this passed was especially helpful in that house. He understood with steadfast clarity that Compassionate Care is the right thing to do.”
The Compassionate Care bill addresses the fact that two-thirds of Wisconsin’s emergency
rooms fail to provide comprehensive care to victims of sexual assault.
The bill requires hospitals to conform to the American Medical Association’s standards of care by ensuring that rape victims receive information about and access to emergency birth control, which is highly effective at preventing pregnancy if taken soon after an assault.
Emergency contraception is a higher dose of ordinary hormonal birth control; advocates say it has no effect if a woman is already pregnant.
The Wisconsin Hospital Association did not oppose the bill, nor did Wisconsin Right to Life.