Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Jon Corzine (D-NJ) held a press conference yesterday to announce their introduction of the Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies (CARE) Act. This bill would require hospitals receiving federal funds to provide emergency contraception (EC) to rape victims, as well as to provide necessary treatment to prevent sexually transmitted infections such as HIV and hepatitis B, according to Senator Corzine’s office. Senator Clinton expressed the importance of the legislation, saying, “Rape survivors have already suffered immeasurably and the last thing they should worry about is the quality of medical care they will receive. Each victim deserves the very best treatment and complete access to all the necessary resources and support services.”
Senator Corzine previously introduced the CARE Act in 2003, but it was not passed. At that time Representatives Steve Rothman (D-NJ) and Jim Greenwood (R-PA) introduced the bill in the House of Representatives, and Representatives Rothman and Rob Simmons (R-CT) have reintroduced companion legislation once again. In the Senate, the CARE Act now moves to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
In introducing the CARE Act, Senator Corzine stated that “ideology should never stand between a patient and appropriate medical careÉ This legislation will help sexual assault survivors across the country receive the medical care they need and deserve.”