August 20, 2003
Emergency Contraception for Rape Victims

Please contact your Representative and insist that they support H.R. 2527, the bipartisan Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies Act.

Contact Info for area NC Representatives:
David Price
Washington Office
2162 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-1784
Fax: 202-225-2014

Raleigh Office
5400 Trinity Road, Suite 205
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: 919-859-5999

Brad Miller
1505 Longworth Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3032 office
(202) 225-0181 fax
(877) 272-3435

Raleigh Office
100 East Six Forks Road, Suite 309
Raleigh, NC 27609
(919) 781-9101 office
Fax: 919-859-5998

Bob Etheridge
1533 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4531
Fax: (202) 225-5662

Raleigh District Office
225 Hillsborough Street
Suite 490
Raleigh, NC 27603
Phone: (919) 829-9122 or
North Carolina Toll Free Number: 1-888-262-6202 (BOB-NC02)
Fax: (919) 829-9883

Sample Letter:
Please add your name to the list of sponsors of H.R. 2527, the bipartisan bill that will ensure that hospital emergency rooms offer emergency contraception to survivors of rape and sexual assault as a routine part of their emergency medical treatment.

The Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies Act, introduced this June by Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) and Rep. Jim Greenwood (R-Pa.), will assist tens of thousands of girls and women who seek medical treatment. Your co-sponsorship will help promote and pass a bill that will provide full health care options to rape victims and allow them to move on with their lives without fear of a pregnancy brought on by sexual assault. This issue is critical and necessary in light of the fact that more than 32,000 women in the U.S. become pregnant each year as a result of rape and incest.

H.R. 2527 addresses the medical needs of victims of violent crimes by ensuring that rape survivors receive every possible medical resource in their time of need. Many women are not able to select the hospital where they must seek treatment. Emergency contraception is not abortion, it is simply a large dose of birth control pills that prevents implantation in order to avoid pregnancy.

Everyone who is dedicated to preventing violence against women and providing humane and comprehensive health care to the victims should support this bill. Please add your name to H.R. 2527 and ask your fellow House members to support this legislation. To sponsor this bill, please contact Rep. Greenwood (202-225-4276) or Rep. Rothman, (202-225-5061).

Thank you for standing up against domestic and sexual violence and fighting for the needs of girls and women on such an important issue.

Background Info:
The Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies Act, coined the "CARE" Act, was introduced in June by Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) and Rep. Jim Greenwood (R-Pa.). H.R. 2527 would ensure that hospital emergency rooms offer emergency contraception to victims of sexual assault, just as they patch up broken bones, stitch wounds and offer antibiotics for infections and sexually transmitted diseases.

We know that rape and sexual assault statistics are understated because many of these crimes go unreported. Records from confidential interviews of women 12 and over show that almost 249,000 women were raped or sexually assaulted in 2000. An estimated one in six women will be a victim of rape in her lifetime and more than 32,000 women become pregnant annually as a result of rape and sexual assault, yet few women know about emergency contraception.

Offering information and access to emergency contraception within 48-72 hours of a sexual assault could prevent unwanted pregnancies and abortions. The option to use emergency contraception after an emergency room visit could be a life-saver for tens of thousands of sexual assault survivors.

The American Medical Association's official policy stipulates that "information about emergency contraception is part of the comprehensive information to be provided as part of the emergency treatment of sexual assault victims." However, a recent study found that only 28 percent of the hospitals surveyed routinely offer and provide emergency contraception to victims of sexual assault. The problem of availability of emergency contraception is made even more difficult by a recent wave of hospital closings and mergers, where private and community hospitals are being taken over by religious-based owners who are opposed to including birth control and emergency contraception in their treatment regimen.

Every member of Congress, especially those who say they care about stopping violence against girls and women and helping victims of rape and sexual assault, should support this legislation. Providing emergency contraception is not the same as performing an abortion.

If you need additional information about emergency contraception, NARAL has a fact sheet and model state legislation on this issue. Additionally, please feel free to contact the Washington D.C. offices of the bill's sponsors:

Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) - staff contact: Jean Doyle, 202-225-5061
Rep. Jim Greenwood (R-Pa.) - staff contact: Laura Stevens, 202-225-4276

Posted by Admin at August 20, 2003 11:13 AM