>Wasilla, Alaska charged women for rape exams

>According to CNN.com, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s town of Wasilla charged women for rape examinations.

The article also points out that Gov. Palin may have not known about the charges and that the chief of police fought the state legislature to keep the charges in place.

Former state Rep. Eric Croft, a Democrat, sponsored a state law requiring cities to provide the examinations free of charge to victims. He said the only ongoing resistance he met was from Wasilla, where Palin was mayor from 1996 to 2002.

“It was one of those things everyone could agree on except Wasilla,” Croft told CNN. “We couldn’t convince the chief of police to stop charging them.”

Alaska’s Legislature in 2000 banned the practice of charging women for rape exam kits — which experts said could cost up to $1,000.

Ironically, the article said Alaska for years had the worse record for murders and rapes of women by men. Alaska’s rape rate is 2.5 times higher than the national average.

Okay, first point. I find it hard to believe that then-Mayor Palin had no idea of the charges. Since the charges sound like they could have been used to pay for city operations, any good mayor would know of the charges.

Second: this gives me some heartburn. As a woman, I can’t imagine having to pay for a necessary medical procedure if I’m sexually assaulted. Any woman who been raped can tell you that the trauma of rape is threefold: they are raped by men, the justice system and society. Having to shell out up to $1,000 to pay for a procedure that can recover evidence would be another form of rape for women, in my opinion.

I wonder how this will affect Gov. Palin’s support among women. I can’t imagine any woman not being troubled by this.

Thoughts?

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