Tampa Rape Victim Says She Was Arrested, Denied Emergency Contraception

Categories: Religion
"Feed the poor, heal the sick, confiscate anything you personally disagree with."
Hold onto your crucifixes -- this one's ridiculous.

A Tampa judge has decided a lawsuit can go forward against the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office after a female rape victim accused a prison guard of refusing to give her a doctor-prescribed emergency contraception pill because "it was against the guard's religious beliefs," according to the Courthouse News Service.

The woman, identified as "R.W." in court documents, says she was raped in January 2007 and given two "morning after" pills -- one to take at the clinic and one to take 12 hours later. The woman then filed a report of the crime with a sheriff's deputy -- unfortunately for her, the deputy discovered R.W. had an outstanding warrant and locked her up in the Hillsborough County Jail, where her second pill was confiscated.

When it came time for R.W. to take the second pill, jail employee Michele Spinelli allegedly refused to give it to her, saying it was against her religious beliefs.

It took three complaints to make it stick, but the case will be allowed to move forward after R.W.'s lawyers said the sheriff was liable -- even if the denial was not official policy -- because Spinelli was the only person on duty "with the power to dispense anti-conceptive medication" and had not been told "whether she could refuse to dispense anti-conceptive medication based on her religious beliefs."

Yes. This is so unclear. Does "religious freedom" mean people can literally walk around taking away legal medications from other people for no reason? A conundrum indeed.

[@NewTimesBroward/NT on Facebook]



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Rich Abdill
Rich Abdill

She ended up not being pregnant, but yes, that would have been a spectacular, ridiculous injustice.

Pete Pepper
Pete Pepper

Damn this is really disgusting abuse of power.  So this guard was able to deny treatment because it was against her "religion"..isnt that illegal, a state imposing its personal religion on others? And out of curiosity, did this end up in a pregnancy?  Would that not make the state responsible for the baby since it was due to their negligence?

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Well, this actually makes total sense... Let's look to the bible* for the answer. Deuteronomy 22:28-29 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives. * bible: an ancient novel full of murder, corruption, homosexuality, bestiality, incest and cruelty. It is often read to children on Sunday. Chaz Stevens, Genius And Proud Card Carrying Atheist

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