PA 07-24—SB 1343
Human Services Committee
Public Health Committee
AN ACT CONCERNING COMPASSIONATE CARE FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
SUMMARY: This act establishes standard-of-care requirements for licensed health care facilities providing emergency treatment to female sexual assault victims. Each facility must promptly:
1. provide a victim with medically and factually accurate and objective information about emergency contraception;
2. inform her of emergency contraception's availability, use, and efficacy; and
3. provide her emergency contraception at the facility at her request, unless she is determined pregnant based on a U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved pregnancy test.
The act prohibits a facility from determining its protocol for standard-of-care compliance on any basis other than an FDA-approved pregnancy test.
The act allows a facility to contract with one or more independent providers to (1) ensure compliance at the facility with the standard-of-care requirements and (2) conduct forensic exams of victims at the facility. These exams must be conducted in accordance with the State of Connecticut Technical Guidelines for Health Care Response to Victims of Sexual Assault, published by the Commission on the Standardization of the Collection of Evidence in Sexual Assault Investigations.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007
Under the act, “emergency contraception” means one or more prescription drugs used separately or in combination and administered to or self-administered by a patient to prevent pregnancy. It must be administered within a medically recommended time frame after intercourse, dispensed for that purpose, consistent with professional standards of practice, and determined safe by the FDA.
MEDICALLY AND FACTUALLY ACCURATE AND OBJECTIVE
The act defines “medically and factually accurate and objective” as verified or supported by the weight of research conducted in compliance with accepted scientific methods and published in peer-reviewed journals where applicable.
Under the act, an “independent provider” means a licensed physician, physician assistant, advanced practice registered nurse, registered nurse, or nurse-midwife, all of whom are trained to conduct forensic exams in accordance with the State of Connecticut Technical Guidelines for Health Care Response to Victims of Sexual Assault, published by the Commission on the Standardization of the Collection of Evidence in Sexual Assault Investigations.
VICTIM OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
The act defines “victim of sexual assault” as any female person who alleges or is alleged to have suffered an injury as a result of a sexual offense. It defines “sexual offense” as:
1. 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree sexual assault;
2. 1st degree aggravated sexual assault;
3. sexual assault in a spousal or cohabiting relationship;
4. 3rd degree sexual assault with a firearm;
5. 1st degree promoting prostitution of a person less than 16 years old;
6. 2nd degree promoting prostitution of a person less than 18 years old;
7. enticing a minor under age 16 to engage in prostitution or sexual activity using a computer service; or
8. employing or promoting a child under age 18 in an obscene performance.
Plan B (levonorgestrel) tablets, approved by the FDA for emergency contraception after intercourse, is now an over-the-counter drug for women age 18 and over, but remains prescription-only for those under age 18. Another similar drug called Preven remains a prescription drug.
OLR Tracking: HN: VR: JL: TS