State Representatives Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Nancy Garland (D-New Albany) along with Senator Nina Turner (D-Cleveland) today introduced legislation to ensure sexual assault survivors are provided with medically and factually accurate, unbiased information from hospitals.
“Make no mistake, this is not a democratic or republican issue, nor is this an issue of ideology,” said Rep. Antonio. “This is an issue of fairness, compassion and the right of survivors of sexual assault to have full access to emergency care and treatment—something that should resonate with all Ohioans.”
The Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies Act requires all hospital emergency rooms to provide survivors of sexual assault with treatment that can prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, if the survivor wishes to use them. The bill would place the responsibility on the hospital to have policies in place to ensure access for survivors with the medical treatment they need by requiring immediate safe, effective methods of pregnancy and disease prevention following an assault.
“Comprehensive and compassionate care helps women in crisis move from victim to survivor,” said Rep Garland. “The C.A.R.E. Act is a common-sense approach. It will help ensure sexual assault victims are given accurate, unbiased information in a timely manner when they visit the hospital, allowing them to make informed choices about their lives.
The House Bill will go to the Rules and Reference for a committee assignment. Senator Turner introduced companion legislation, which is Senate Bill 283.