The Wisconsin state Senate voted 25-6 to pass the Compassionate Care for Rape Victims bill last week. The bill mandates that all hospitals in the state provide rape victims with information on and access to Emergency Contraception (EC). EC is a single dose medication that prevents pregnancy when taken within 120 hours of unprotected sex. Plan B is the most commonly used EC, and has an 89% success rate in preventing unintended pregnancies if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, reports Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health.
Sara Finger, director of Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health, told the Badger Herald that “more than two-thirds of Wisconsin hospitals do not unconditionally provide emergency contraception to rape victims.” Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, stated that the vote “cast partisan politics aside and did the right thing for rape victims”, reported the Daily Cardinal.
The bill was protested by religious and anti-abortion groups. They claim that emergency contraception is a form of abortion and that morally opposed hospital workers should not have to administer the drug.
Governor Jim Doyle is a supporter of the bill. He is expected to sign it into state law soon.