Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed a bill Thursday that will require hospital emergency rooms to provide information about emergency contraception (EC) to victims of sexual assault. The bill also mandates pharmacies that do not stock the contraceptive to post a sign notifying the patient that it is unavailable.
State Senator Betty Boyd (D), who introduced the bill, said, “I truly believe that this is a great day for women and a great day for women’s health. We will be assisting some of our most vulnerable citizens with this bill.” In the Colorado House, the bill was introduced by Representative Anne McGihon (D). According to the AP, Rep. McGihon estimates that two-thirds of Colorado women are victims of some form of domestic violence.
A similar bill was introduced last spring that would have required all hospitals to inform rape victims about EC. The governor at the time, Republican Bill Owens, vetoed the bill, claiming that it would have forced church-backed institutions to go against their beliefs. Like Senate Bill 60, the former bill included exceptions for healthcare facilities that are morally or religiously opposed to birth control.