CCRV Success

Wednesday night the Wisconsin State Assembly passed the Compassionate Care for Rape Victims bill 56-41. The vote is being reported as preliminary because the Assembly has yet to tie up loose ends, but it is expected to get the official green light from the legislature next month. It is likely that Governor Doyle will sign CCRV into law in early 2008.

While I'm thrilled about the bill's passage, the victory is bittersweet. This bill ought to have received overwhelming support, but the fact that it passed by a rather slim margin demonstrates that reproductive rights have a long way to go in this state.

In the spring of this year Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin hosted the Women's Health Day of Action and led dozens of women's health activists to the Capitol to lobby their state legislators on CCRV. I was PPWI's Public Affairs intern at the time, so I was dealt the task of archiving each activist's report from their lobby visit. I couldn't believe what I read on one activist's comment page. She urged her representative to consider what options he would want available to his daughter if she were raped and facing the possibility of pregnancy. His response:

"If she were raped, I would not want her to take the pill. If she got pregnant, even if by rape... well, it's still a child and I'd want her to have that child."

Really? It's more important to this guy that a devout Catholic medical professional preserve his 'conscience' than for his own daughter to retain her autonomy and the chance for self-actualization?

I really, really wish I could remember who said that. Oh well...

Cheers to all the people who have worked so hard to pass this legislation! You rock.

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