Catholic hospitals to comply with Conn. law requiring offering EC to assault victims

Roman Catholic bishops in Connecticut have recently passed an ordinance allowing hospital staff to offer emergency contraception in its 4 of 30 state hospitals to assault victims, just days before a state law is to be passed requiring it. The church had been considering fighting the law on grounds of it being unconstitutional, but backed from that decision, citing that church teachings are not clear on the matter, and there is "little understanding of how Plan B works". Up until recently, the hospitals had made a habit out of doing an ovulation test prior to administering the contraceptive; the church is insisting the law should be revised to require it, though have for the moment agreed that the hospitals will be allowed to administer Plan B without an ovulation test on the grounds that:

"... the teaching authority of the church has not definitively resolved this matter and since there is serious doubt about how Plan B pills work ... To administer Plan B without an ovulation test is not an intrinsically evil act."

Roman Catholics believe that life begins at conception; the decision-makers agreed that the fact Plan B works prior to conception itself by stopping ovulation, thus is not clearly-cut abortifacent, made their decision more difficult. This reasoning caused them to waive the ovulation test as unnecessary, for the moment, though they plan to continue to lobby to have the law revised to require the test, and possibly pursue legal action.

It is good that that the church is re-considering its stance on emergency contraception and waiving the ovulation test -- which is beyond baloney as far as pregnancy prevention is concerned, considering the LH surge takes place very shortly prior to ovulation (12-48 hours), which not only leaves a huge gaping window for sperm to survive and fertilize a mature ovum in a 5 day timeframe if the LH surge is not detected and the woman is denied EC, but also increases the chances that the contraceptive will not inhibit ovulation in time. It is good that sexual assault victims will have access to a drug that has the potential to dramatically reduce the consequences of their non-consensual impregnation, in a state hospital, no less, where they should be expected to be cared for compassionately without bias. What is sad is that this seems like only a temporary fix, a "That'll shut 'em up" until they can research ways to find a loophole, rather than a genuine breakthrough and resolution to rethink contraceptive options for all women, not just assault victims.



Just a note on the EC post - Minnesota passed a law like this too, in the 2007 legislative session, so now all hospitals in the state have to offer EC to sexual assault victims - although maybe not if tests show they are already pregnant, sorry I forget that part. Anyway, thanks to lots of good work from NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota and other choice groups, the Catholic hospitals did not oppose the legislation and are included. Thanks for your good work and info.