CT Rep. Speaks Out About Her Rape

As a way to bolster support for a Connecticut law which would require hospitals to offer emergency contraception to rape surviviors, Rep. Deborah Heinrich took the brave step of speaking out about her own sexual assault. Matt has more.

UPDATE: Melissa has a detailed post about the hearings for the bill. It was apparently a 9 1/2 hour ordeal, wherein many brave women got up and told their stories. Melissa writes:

Rep. Heinrich was one of several women willing to share their personal stories before the committee. Another standout was reigning Miss. Connecticut, Heidi Voight who has made the rights of victims of sexual assault, her platform. Some women waited hours just to be heard. It’s interesting to note that only two survivors spoke in opposition of the bill. No matter what side of the debate you fall on I’m in awe of anyone who had the courage to go on record about their own assault.

Absolutely. And apparently the opposition was in its usual form, disparaging rape survivors and not understanding the basic medical facts:

Most of the opposition didn’t fare as well. My favorite was Senator De Luca. He doesn’t serve on the committee, hadn’t read the bill, hadn’t listened in on any of the hearing, and was completely ignorant of what Plan B even was. Yet for some reason he felt compelled to speak. For 28 minutes we were treated to De Luca’s testimony. And I know I’m not the only who, at 10:30 PM when the hearing finally ended, appreciated that Senator DeLuca had taken up so much of everyone’s valuable time.

DeLuca’s performance was staggering, but so were the questions and commentary of many committee members. Rep. Bruce Morris kept calling on politicians and rape advocates to talk about theology. Rep. John Thompson constantly mispronounced the word ovulation as OVALation, and asked Dr. Davidoff if the sperm inside an assaulted woman could be considered a “continuation of the rape.” Rep. Adinolfi suggested that not all rapes were crimes, complained about his own poor treatment at the ER (and seemed to be implying that rape victims were asking for special treatment), and after staying silent while a number of experts testified chose to aggressively question a a grad student about why she and others were attacking Catholic hospitals.

Go check out her whole post.


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17 comments for “CT Rep. Speaks Out About Her Rape

  1. March 16, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    But when she thought it might help pass some controversial legislation, she decided to tell everyone.

    Is it just me, or does the interviewer not seem to approve much of Heinrich coming forward with this?

  2. Seriously
    March 16, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    But when she thought it might help pass some controversial legislation, she decided to tell everyone.

    Is it just me, or does the interviewer not seem to approve much of Heinrich coming forward with this?

    Defenstrated, I’m in total agreement. Note the emphasis on the word controversial, it’s dropped like, 4 or 5 times.

  3. March 16, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    South Carolina is going the other way. They are close to passing a bill requiring women look at an ultrasound of their fetus before they can have an abortion. It sickens me.

  4. Lorelei
    March 16, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    REVEALING HER SECRETTTTTTTT!!11

    i want to slap the shit out of this reporter.

    and i wanna marry Rep. Heinrich.

  5. Lorelei
    March 16, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    shit, sorry that posted twice, Jill… can you fix it? :\

  6. March 16, 2007 at 4:56 pm

    Fixed.

  7. mustelid
    March 16, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    Rep. Adinolfi suggested that not all rapes were crimes…

    #%%&^(???!!!
    Seriously, WTF?!

  8. CGG
    March 16, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    Mustlid the ignorance coming from Adinolfi was unbelievable. Eventually I hope to have some audio up from the hearing. I can’t believe some of these people got elected.

  9. Anatolia
    March 16, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    [opinion]

    This appears to be a standard of care issue. A hospital and its physicians are required to provide a community with standard of care when treating patients, as I understand it. If the standard of care in the community is that a rape victim is treated with Plan B, then the hospital becomes a liability when it refuses to provide adequate treatment. If that standard of care is not yet reached, then these hospitals would act as a liability to improved standard of care for the community as a whole.

    We shouldn’t allow a hospital to continue to operate in a community if it repeatedly fails to provide standard of care or actively resists the advancement of better standards of care. We wouldn’t accept such in treating heart attack victims or car accident victims. Religion should provide no cover for substandard medical care. It appears that the hospitals in question are begging for special privilege to commit fraud in advertising emergency medical services to the communities they serve while reaping the benefits of maintaining the appearance of a legitimate medical care provider. This is unfair to the medical centers that advertise honestly and offer quality care without extreme prejudice against select patients.

    The position that these hospitals must be at liberty to provide substandard care at their religious discretion is insidious and indicates a wanton disregard for the health and welfare of the communities they serve. It is plainly a vile and immoral position to hold the health and well being of a community hostage to the special granting of privilege to act with such prejudice.

    Further, given the institution’s very recent history of covering up sexual abuse within its own community of child molesters and rapists, the question is also one of appropriate ethical operations in providing legal and ethical care to the greater community at large facing sexual abuse and rape. It can not be overlooked that the overarching institution may have serious systemic ethical problems, and while painful and difficult for those who feel themselves a part of that institution, it is imperative that we address this concern in the context of the matter at hand.

  10. R. Mildred
    March 16, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Rep. Adinolfi suggested that not all rapes were crimes, complained about his own poor treatment at the ER

    Ah yes, one of the “rape? Don’t talk to me about rape, why I once had to pay $5 for a glass of water at an airport!” guys I see. Oh how I love them and their ability to live inside their own heads…

    why she and others were attacking Catholic hospitals.

    Jesus, what is with the “why do you hate catheterlicism?” stuff at the moment?

  11. orko
    March 16, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Rep. Bruce Morris kept calling on politicians and rape advocates to talk about theology.

    Surely, that should be some other type of advocates?

  12. March 17, 2007 at 1:06 am

    I know this has been mentioned before, but I can’t help but say something. “Not all rapes are crimes??” What IS that? Is it me, or is rape, by definition, a crime? What the fuck is that? I can even begin to understand his justification of this statement.

  13. March 17, 2007 at 3:39 am

    Jesus, what is with the “why do you hate catheterlicism?” stuff at the moment?

    I think it’s because that’s pretty much the only policy defense they’ve got.

    You don’t believe that a you owe ownership of your body to each and every egg it produces? You don’t think there can be any pretext for gestational slavery? Clearly you hate catholics.

  14. R. Mildred
    March 17, 2007 at 7:20 am

    Is it me, or is rape, by definition, a crime?

    Ah, well, Fun Feminist Factoid #333: in 30 of the 50 states, if you are married woman and A) heavily intoxicated to the point where it’d be considered rape to fuck you, and/or B) unconcious it is perfectly legal for your husband to have sex with you irregardless of whether or not you agree with it and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    Also, and I’m not sure if this one is still around the political arena but there was a republican senator or something who was an ex-doctor, as a doctor he had performed illegal and unwanted sterlisations on several of his female patients, and had routinely and legally raped his wife for several years.

    That was a standing politician, and yes those things were widely known about him, so no, sometimes rape is not neccesarily an actual crime, nor does it neccesarily affect your standing in public office.

  15. Myca
    March 17, 2007 at 11:22 am

    What a brave, wonderful person. It makes me wish I lived in CT, so I could vote for her.

  16. Dianne
    March 17, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    R. Mildred, could you give a reference for the marital rape data? I’m not doubting you, I just want a source I can give to people who deny the reality of marital rape other than “unknown person on internet”.

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