News Violence

New Jersey’s Governor is Taking His Time on a Rape Kit Bill

Martha Kempner

A bill to ensure that sexual assault survivors don't get billed for the kits used to collect forensic evidence overwhelmingly passed the state legislature, but Governor Chris Christie  seems slow to sign it. 

In March, the New Jersey State Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill to prevent sexual assault survivors from being charged for the rape kits used to collect forensic evidence.  The Assembly passed the measure in June. Months later, however, the bill remains “under review” on Governor Chris Christie’s desk prompting many advocates to ask what is taking him so long and some to start a petition demanding he take action. 

Under federal law, health care providers must be reimbursed for the cost of these exams and the collection of evidence. They are supposed to look to government agencies for that coverage but bills are often sent to the assault survivor “due to administrative errors or attempts to get payment from a victim’s insurance company.” 

The legislation that passed in New Jersey would prevent direct billing for any “routine medical screening, medications to prevent sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy tests and emergency contraception, as well as supplies, equipment, and use of space.”

Though it’s clear from his record (which includes “using a line-item veto to block funding in the state budget for clinics that provide family-planning services”) that woman’s rights and reproductive health are not a high priority for the Governor, it really is hard to understand why he’s dragging his feet on this bill.

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News Contraception

Roundup: More Women Taking Emergency Contraception

Beth Saunders

More women have taken emergency contraception now that it is available over the counter; White House to hold first-ever transgender issue meeting; and maternal mortality for African-American women in California skyrockets.

More women have taken emergency contraception now that it is available over the counter; White House to hold first-ever transgender issue meeting; and maternal mortality for African-American women in California skyrockets.

Apr 27

Roundup: Anti-Choice Group Sues Wisconsin Library for Not Showing Movie

Beth Saunders

40 Days for Life is suing a library who declined to show an anti-abortion documentary that would disrupt normal library functions, could allowing HIV-positive people donate organs save lives, and three cheers for the NBA and WNBA for AIDS education!

40 Days for Life is suing a library who declined to show an anti-abortion documentary that would disrupt normal library functions, could allowing HIV-positive people donate organs save lives, and three cheers for the NBA and WNBA for AIDS education!

  • 40 Days for Life is suing a Wausau, Wisconsin, library in federal court after the library director decided that showing the anti-abortion documentary Blood Money would cause a disruption in library services due to protests. The library’s policy allows him to decline or cancel events that would affect library patrons. A lawyer for 40 Days for Life had first appealed to the county, who said the library director was within his rights, and offered an alternate space to show the movie, which the lawyer said was not acceptable.
  • Could allowing HIV-positive people to donate organs to HIV-positive people on a transplant list help save lives? A recently published study in the American Journal of Transplantation says yes. One researcher involved in the study said, “Instead of discarding the otherwise healthy organs of HIV-infected people when they die, those organs could be available for HIV-positive candidates.
  • Three cheers for the NBA and WNBA for highlighting HIV/AIDS education at several games this past month.  Last night the LA Clippers invited the Black AIDS Institute and the LA Department of Health to distribute health information and a new public service message was debuted at halftime.  (The Clippers lost to the Mavericks.)

Mar 30