Letter to the editor

Thebgnews and Thebgnews

New legislation would help victims of rape

On April 21, I gathered in Columbus with hundreds of other Ohioans to ask the Ohio House of Representatives to pass House Bill 333, the Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies (CARE) Act, which helps rape survivors obtain Emergency Contraception in hospital emergency rooms.

Currently, almost 20 percent of Ohio hospitals refuse to help rape survivors prevent becoming pregnant by their rapist and even more just don’t offer.

Emergency Contraception is a legal medicine that prevents a pregnancy from starting. It is not an abortion drug, yet many hospitals refuse to provide it either because of ignorance or because they choose to ignore medical science. Currently, 1 in 6 women are victims of forcible rape during their lifetime and this rate is increased to 1 in 4 for college women.

Emergency Contraception is highly effective at preventing pregnancy but is most effective if taken within 24 hours. Women have the right to make their own decisions, regardless of where they happen to live in Ohio. Hospitals have an obligation to assist them and provide comprehensive, unbiased medical care to them during this incredibly vulnerable and scary time in their lives.

I encourage all Ohioans to contact their Representative and ask them to pass House Bill 333. For Bowling Green residents (District 6), your representative is Rep. Randy Gardner and he can be contacted by phone at (614) 466-8104 or through e-mail at [email protected]

Please take five minutes and show your compassion for these women!

By Marissa Oehlhof, graduate, psychology.