Connecticut Roman Catholic bishops softened their opposition Thursday to a new state law requiring hospitals to dispense emergency contraception (EC) to all rape victims. Previously, the Bishops had refused to allow Catholic hospitals to provide EC without first performing an ovulation test.
“Our efforts had only one goal, to protect the victims of rape,” Sen. Jonathan Harris, a Hartford legislator who worked with the church to negotiate a compromise told the Associated Press. “There was no other agenda. It was started to just do that.”
The church fought legislation for two years, arguing that it would force Catholic employees at the hospitals to behave immorally, according to the Associated Press. In a recent statement however, the bishops conceded that the use of Plan B cannot be judged as an abortion. “To administer Plan B pills without an ovulation test is not an intrinsically evil act,” the statement read.
During the first half of 2006, 40 percent of rape victims treated at Connecticut hospitals either were not offered EC or received an incomplete dose of it, Connecticut Sexual Assault Services Inc. told the AP.