Itâ€™s good to see that the American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the Justice Departmentâ€™s national medical protocol, which was distributed to state health departments in November. The protocol fails to advise hospitals to consider emergency contraception when treating rape victims, and the ACLU is asking for the release of records that might explain why.
In an e-mailed statement, the Justice Department said the protocol is intended to give victims as much control over the process as possible, “based upon the victimâ€™s own preferences and beliefs.”
Of course, rape victims should base their decisions on their own beliefs. But the only way that victims can make decisions for themselves is if they are given all of their legal options. And until emergency contraception is outlawed, medical professionals have an obligation to tell victims that it exists and that it is an option.
The department went on to say that the protocol “recognizes that sexual assault victims of different ages, social, cultural and religious/spiritual backgrounds have varying options regarding treatment options.”
But the truth is that all rape victims â€” regardless of their age, social, cultural or religious background â€” have the legal option of emergency contraception. Itâ€™s about time that we figure out why the government doesnâ€™t think they deserve to know about it.
Posted by Melissa Cooley
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