News Contraception

Lingle Vetoed Emergency Contraception for Rape Victims

Robin Marty

Maybe she also thought rape victims can't get pregnant?

Former Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle is working very hard to repackage herself as a moderate for her senate race — a must considering the advantage her Democratic rival will have in an election in which voters willl likely coming out in droves to support their home state president. But it appears her recent declaration that Missouri Representative Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape victims can’t get pregnant” statement wasnot representative of any mainstream views, including my own,” is less than authentic. Think Progress reports that Lingle vetoed a bill ensuring hospitals offer emergency contraception to rape victims.

Lingle’s own record is not dissimilar from Akin’s when it comes to helping rape victims prevent pregnancy. When she was Governor of Hawaii, Lingle vetoed a bill that would have required hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims who wanted it, citing hospitals with religious objections. She even boasts about the veto on her website. At the time, there was only one Catholic hospital system in the state, St. Francis Medical Center, which would probably not have received any rape victims anyway, since it did not host an OB-GYN program.

In 2002, Lingle claimed that she “supports a woman’s right to choose” and that she believed “we must work to ensure there are no more unwanted children – through education, prevention, and adoption.” But when it comes to prevention for rape victims, Lingle left them out in the cold.

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