Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Colorado Governor Hurts Women to Please Voting Bloc

Via Feministing, Bill Owens, the Colorado governor, vetoed a bill that would have required that hospitals inform rape victims about the existence and availability of emergency contraception. A quote:
Gov. Owens, a Catholic, said he rejected the proposal because it would have forced church-based hospitals to go against their own moral values, and because it might have caused a woman to "innocently violate her personal, moral and religious beliefs about when life begins."

Apparently even armed with information about what emergency contraception is, and where to get it, a woman is still not capable of deciding whether or not she wants to conceive after being raped. What's even more odious about this bill being vetoed is that the hospital is not even required to dispense the medication on the site - despite the time-sensitive efficacy of the drug - but may direct a woman to another pharmacy. Even my often bass-ackwards state requires that emergency contraception be made available to rape victims. I guess I can chalk that up to the coming Democratic flip in my state?

And, while we're on the subject, I should point out that the various methods of EC have not had their mechanisms of prophylaxis elucidated - or, in real people words, we don't know how they work. In fact, we don't even know if they prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg (which is the point at which a woman is considered "pregnant"), and if so, how often this is the case. From the literature I've seen (which is scant), it seems likely that implantation is prevented in a small amount of cases, though it's difficult to separate the factors that can contribute to preventing implantation from what the drug is contributing.

Even if the unknown and likely negligible risk of preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg is something a woman doesn't want to risk, I'm pretty sure she doesn't need Bill Owens' help in deciding whether to take her emergency contraception.

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