Rape victims must have access to emergency contraception

It is painful to see female sexual assault victims victimized a second time by politicians who seek to block emergency contraception after a rape.

Plan B is FDA-approved and used across the country by sexual assault programs, doctors and hospitals to prevent unwanted pregnancy after a sexual assault.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-4th Dist.) is seeking to ban Plan B. Plan B works by slowing ovulation, thus preventing fertilization from the rape. It will not harm an existing pregnancy and can be effective up to 120 hours after an assault.

Women must have the right to choose whether to receive emergency contraception after being raped. That choice should be an informed one, based upon personal beliefs and accurate medical information from doctors and nurses.

Most religions allow some form of contraception after a sexual assault, including the Catholic Church, as per Section 36 of the 2009 “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Services,” which states that “A female who has been raped should be able to defend herself against a potential conception from the sexual assault. If, after appropriate testing, there is no evidence that conception has occurred already, she may be treated with medications that would prevent ovulation, sperm capacitation or fertilization.” Plan B meets these criteria.

It’s time for politicians like Rep. Chris Smith to stop interfering with the care of rape victims.

Alice Lloyd, R.N.,

This letter also appeared in the Times of Trenton.

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Paid for by no one, I did this in my free time. This wasn’t authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.