A bill is currently being presented to the Ohio House and Senate that would require hospitals in the state of Ohio to offer emergency abortions to rape victims. This procedure would be another service hospitals could provide if the victim were to seek medical assistance.
Clinical Coordinator of the Emergency Room, Stacy Prater, works for Mercy Hospital in Fairfield. Currently, her company does not have the option of emergency abortions for rape victims, but does have a protocol if a case of rape is admitted.
“We evaluate them for any acute injury or trauma,” Prater said. “Once that’s established, they don’t have any life threatening injuries, we pass them on to a SANE [sexual assault nurse examiner] physician.”
McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital also does not offer emergency contraception for victims. According to Karen Miller, director of the Emergency Department at McCullough-Hyde, when victims are admitted, they’re taken to a private room, SANE physicians are notified and crisis counselors wait with the victims until the examiners come in.
“They’re brought in from SANE of Butler County, and are trained in evidence collection and to testify in court if need be,” Miller said.
Among Miami University students, feelings on the bill’s pending legislation vary.
“I’d be 100 percent for that,” junior Kelly Blake said. “I think incidences of rape are pretty traumatic, although I understand where pro-life supporters are coming from. But I say let them choose to have a baby when the time is right.”
Using abortions in situations of rape is a tricky area to judge in matters of pro-life.
Sophomore Elizabeth Nie said, “Religiously everything happens for a reason. That’s how I’ve been taught to see it. But when someone is raped, it’s different than choosing to have sex and then dealing with the consequences. So in that circumstance, I think that’s different.”
Miller pointed out with the availability of Plan-B, an over-the-counter contraception administered within the first 72 hours after sexual intercourse, preventative options are out there for victims of rape. Regarding the bill, a decision is still pending on the approval by the Ohio legislature.