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July 25, 2001

Governor Signs Bill Amending Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act

SPRINGFIELD--Governor George H. Ryan today signed SB114 amending the Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act, requiring hospitals to develop a strategy for treating rape victims, including distributing information about emergency contraception to prevent a pregnancy resulting from the assault. The bill also requires the Department of Public Health to set the minimum acceptable protocol standards.

SB114 does not force the hospital to administer drugs, but does require that they provide sufficient information regarding contraceptive methods. Hospitals are required to implement a sexual assault survivors' protocol upon approval by the Department of Public Health (DPH).

"Women who have been victims of a sexual assault should receive swift, responsible, and confidential information about the options available to them so that they can make appropriate medical decisions," Governor Ryan said. "By establishing proper protocols, hospitals will be able to provide the victim with the proper medical advice."

SB 114 also ensures each sexual assault survivor receive medically accurate written and oral information about emergency contraception. Emergency contraception consists of a double dose of regular birth control pills, taken twice within a 12-hour period.

The bill does not prevent an existing program from continuing to operate pending Department of Public Health approval of the new protocol.

SB114 was sponsored by Representatives Rosemary Mulligan (R-DesPlaines), Eileen Lyons (R-Western Springs), Elizabeth Coulson (R-Glenview), Julie Hamos (D-Evanston) and Susana Mendoza (D-Chicago) and Senators Christine Radogno (R-LaGrange), William "Bill" Shaw (D-Chicago), Carol Ronen (D-Chicago), Lisa Madigan (D-Chicago) and Barack Obama (D-Chicago)


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