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70.41.340  <<  70.41.350 >>   70.41.360

RCW 70.41.350

Emergency care provided to victims of sexual assault — Development of informational materials on emergency contraception — Rules.

(1) Every hospital providing emergency care to a victim of sexual assault shall:

     (a) Provide the victim with medically and factually accurate and unbiased written and oral information about emergency contraception;

     (b) Orally inform each victim of sexual assault of her option to be provided emergency contraception at the hospital; and

     (c) If not medically contraindicated, provide emergency contraception immediately at the hospital to each victim of sexual assault who requests it.

     (2) The secretary, in collaboration with community sexual assault programs and other relevant stakeholders, shall develop, prepare, and produce informational materials relating to emergency contraception for the prevention of pregnancy in rape victims for distribution to and use in all emergency rooms in the state, in quantities sufficient to comply with the requirements of this section. The secretary, in collaboration with community sexual assault programs and other relevant stakeholders, may also approve informational materials from other sources for the purposes of this section. The informational materials must be clearly written and readily comprehensible in a culturally competent manner, as the secretary, in collaboration with community sexual assault programs and other relevant stakeholders, deems necessary to inform victims of sexual assault. The materials must explain the nature of emergency contraception, including that it is effective in preventing pregnancy, treatment options, and where they can be obtained.

     (3) The secretary shall adopt rules necessary to implement this section.

[2002 c 116 § 3.]

Notes:

     Findings -- 2002 c 116: "(1) The legislature finds that:

     (a) Each year, over three hundred thousand women are sexually assaulted in the United States;

     (b) Nationally, over thirty-two thousand women become pregnant each year as a result of sexual assault. Approximately fifty percent of these pregnancies end in abortion;

     (c) Approximately thirty-eight percent of women in Washington are sexually assaulted over the course of their lifetime. This is twenty percent more than the national average;

     (d) Only fifteen percent of sexual assaults in Washington are reported; however, even the numbers of reported attacks are staggering. For example, last year, two thousand six hundred fifty-nine rapes were reported in Washington, this is more than seven rapes per day.

     (2) The legislature deems it essential that all hospital emergency rooms provide emergency contraception as a treatment option to any woman who seeks treatment as a result of a sexual assault." [2002 c 116 § 1.]