Women who seek help at Catholic-controlled hospitals cannot be referred to rape crisis centres that supply morning-after pills, under church policy.
I am amazed to find myself, in 2007, after years and years of Australia and Australians being by and large pro-choice, advocating yet again for the right to choose.
I’m not sure where to begin with this- the latest of Health Minister Abbott’s no-abortions agenda. Shall I start with the very real possibility of re-traumatising a woman/girl as she is forced to make her way to a chemist, without appropriate confidentiality, support or aftercare when she has just been raped, to get medication that is part of every thinking person’s expectation of non-negligent rape-counselling.
She’s been RAPED- a crime of power and control. Imagine broken bones, slashes, cuts, bruises, scratches, bites, marks, pain and, possibly, HIV, STD’s, or conception. Rape survivors representing the highest number of women/girls living with PTSD.
Interpersonal trauma more likely to be associated with PTSD- Rape 9.2% (F) Sexual molestation 5.5% (F)
The morning-after pill (Postinor-2) is not illegal, in fact you do not need a Doctor’s prescription since 01/01/04, when it was made available over the counter for about $20.00 in all non-judgmental pharmacies.
The Catholic church, through it’s policy and control of hospitals is placing an extra hurdle in front of vulnerable women /girls in our society. How can a system which exists to offer medical care justify that acute post-rape care does not involve the option to be offered the morning after-pill (Postinor-2)?
“The Code of Ethical Standards, compiled by Catholic Health Australia, says direct referral of raped women to centres that offer the morning-after pill ‘should only occur if reasonable steps have been taken to exclude the likelihood of pregnancy.’ Senior Catholic spokesmen defended the policy as a logical and ethical extension of the church’s opposition to the morning-after pill, which it considers morally no different to abortion.” -Source.
“This [The Code of Ethical Standards, compiled by Catholic Health Australia] is a long-standing policy which is consistent with the church’s position on abortion and it is not a new issue and I have no indications of any of it changing. We don’t ask individuals to take other choices, we certainly don’t try to manipulate the information so they make choices that we are happy with. We provide them with all the information and if they so choose to go down the path of termination or the pill we simply say, ‘We can’t provide it here’.” – CEO Francis Sullivan said.
This is nothing more than the Catholic church asserting it’s power over a population who moves away, rather than toward it and its beliefs. Beware of crypto-Social Workers.
Image from here