Thursday, June 16, 2005

Keeping government transparent

"Always keep your friends close, but your enemies keep closer."
--J. Wallace Day

With that quote in mind, I've set myself a new routine. Over my morning coffee, I'm going to browse the summarized daily action reports at the Thomas: Legislative Information On The Internet site, a feature of the Library Of Congress. I intend to see what both sides are up to, and what bills were introduced or amended on the previous day. With a little advance warning, we've got a better chance of making ourselves heard.

I've started a new category, Legislative Watch, to post bills of which I think you should be aware.

H.R.2928 : To provide for the provision by hospitals of emergency contraceptives to women who are survivors of sexual assault.
Sponsor: Rep Rothman, Steven R. [NJ-9] (introduced 6/15/2005) Cosponsors (82)
Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 6/15/2005 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

I'm bringing this to your attention because I suspect there will be an effort to bury it. The right-wing nutjobs are working hard to erode women's reproductive rights, and they're not above targeting rape survivors. Similar bills have been tanked or vetoed in several states. The strongest reasons for backing this bill are the recent news stories about Catholic hospitals refusing to give not only EC, but information about EC to rape survivors.

This quote from The Well-Timed Period:
The protocol of six Catholic hospitals run by Centura calls for rape victims to undergo an ovulation test.

If they have not ovulated, said Centura corporate spokeswoman Dana Berry, doctors tell the victims about emergency contraception and write prescriptions for it if the patient asks.

If, however, the urine test suggests that a rape victim has ovulated, Berry continued, doctors at Centura's Catholic hospitals are not to mention emergency contraception.

This is why we need this bill passed. If your representative hasn't signed on yet as one of the 82 cosponsors, urge her/him to do so. You can find out here - search HR 2928. Let's get this bill out of committee and into law.

List of contact information for the U.S. House of Representatives.

(cross-posted at I See Invisible People

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