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Wed Jun 27, 2012, 09:07 AM

Rape Victim Can Sue for Denied Contraception

A Tampa rape victim can sue the Hillsborough County Sheriff for allowing a jail guard to refuse to give her a prescribed emergency contraception pill because it was against the guard's religious beliefs, a federal judge ruled.

R.W., whose full name is not disclosed in court records, says she was raped on Jan. 27, 2007. After an examination at Tampa's Rape Crisis Center, a doctor gave R.W. gave two anti-contraception pills, according to the complaint.

R.W. says she took one pill immediately and held the other to ingest 12 hours later, as directed.
While taking R.W.'s report of the crime, however, a Tampa police officer learned that there was an arrest warrant for R.W. for failure to pay restitution and failure to appear. At the Hillsborough County Jail, staff confiscated her second pill.

R.W. says she requested her second pill the next morning, but jail employee Michele Spinelli refused. "Spinelli told the Plaintiff that she would not give R.W. the pill because it was against Spinelli's religious beliefs," the first amended complaint states.

Although R.W. did not get pregnant, she sued Spinelli and Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee for gender discrimination and violations of the right to privacy and the right to equal protection under the 14th Amendment.


http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/06/25/47785.htm

52 replies, 4965 views

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Arrow 52 replies Author Time Post
Reply Rape Victim Can Sue for Denied Contraception (Original post)
boston bean Jun 2012 OP
seabeyond Jun 2012 #1
LynneSin Jun 2012 #8
seabeyond Jun 2012 #14
One_Life_To_Give Jun 2012 #48
redqueen Jun 2012 #2
Chorophyll Jun 2012 #37
truebrit71 Jun 2012 #47
sufrommich Jun 2012 #3
seabeyond Jun 2012 #4
redqueen Jun 2012 #7
sufrommich Jun 2012 #9
redqueen Jun 2012 #17
sufrommich Jun 2012 #19
redqueen Jun 2012 #20
sufrommich Jun 2012 #22
seabeyond Jun 2012 #26
redqueen Jun 2012 #29
seabeyond Jun 2012 #31
seabeyond Jun 2012 #12
SheilaT Jun 2012 #38
southernyankeebelle Jun 2012 #5
CrispyQ Jun 2012 #6
MsPithy Jun 2012 #10
sufrommich Jun 2012 #11
seabeyond Jun 2012 #15
redqueen Jun 2012 #18
Sivafae Jun 2012 #13
seabeyond Jun 2012 #16
drm604 Jun 2012 #21
seabeyond Jun 2012 #23
sufrommich Jun 2012 #25
Swede Atlanta Jun 2012 #24
seabeyond Jun 2012 #27
sufrommich Jun 2012 #30
seabeyond Jun 2012 #32
sufrommich Jun 2012 #33
seabeyond Jun 2012 #35
Swede Atlanta Jun 2012 #34
seabeyond Jun 2012 #36
drm604 Jun 2012 #43
seabeyond Jun 2012 #45
sufrommich Jun 2012 #28
SheilaT Jun 2012 #39
seabeyond Jun 2012 #40
BlueIris Jun 2012 #41
Smilo Jun 2012 #42
drm604 Jun 2012 #44
Dawson Leery Jun 2012 #46
duhneece Jun 2012 #49
seabeyond Jun 2012 #50
sufrommich Jun 2012 #51
Texasgal Jun 2012 #52

Response to boston bean (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 09:53 AM

1. wow. just wow that anyone would be arrogantly ugly enough to deny people,

ok, women, for this reason.

i have not bought that argument even a little since all this started.

if walking into a career, there are things that are contradictory to your religion, get a different job. that simple

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:27 AM

8. You'd think it would be that easy but there are people becoming Pharmacists

for the soul purpose of being able to pass their moral judgement onto others. Their logic - if they get enough pharmacists that object giving out birth control pills and EC then perhaps they can change the laws to allow these right-wing religious pharmacists to play 'doctor/god' with the people using their services.

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Response to LynneSin (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:41 AM

14. as i have said in the past, we had the dominists come down to this part of the panhandle about 2003

i started hearing about them and doing research because they were becoming a part of groups my family was in. you are absolutely right. they suggest that people get these degrees in these areas in order to take control from the bottom up. education board would be an example.

i felt long ago, that the first pharmacist and doctor that took this stance needed to be reigned in. we did not do it.

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Response to LynneSin (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 03:04 PM

48. Maybe last laugh will be on them?

As more states are recognizing that when we license a medical/pharmacy facility. The state has an obligation to make certain all authorized medical procedures/pharmaceuticals are provided.

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 09:59 AM

2. That's good and all,

but that officer needs to be fired.

People who pull this "religious beliefs" crap need to be fired and go work for some place where their 'beliefs' won't get in the way of them doing their flipping jobs.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:31 AM

37. Precisely this. nt

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Response to redqueen (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 02:16 PM

47. Damn straight...want to practice religious beliefs go to church/synagogue/mosque...

...otherwise do your fugging job..

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:04 AM

3. So much wrong with this situation.

" a Tampa police officer learned that there was an arrest warrant for R.W. for failure to pay restitution and failure to appear". Is it common to run backround checks on victims of rape?
Here's a tip for you ladies ,don't report that rape if you've got unpaid parking tickets.

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:11 AM

4. Is it common to run backround checks on victims of rape?

Here's a tip for you ladies ,don't report that rape if you've got unpaid parking tickets.

you are absolutely right. that is appalling. and it is the reality we live today. we gave up constitutional rights without a wimper, long ago

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:24 AM

7. A woman in Iowa was arrested for falling down the stairs while pregnant.

So don't go to the hospital if you're pregnant and have any kind of accident, either.

I think it might be only thirty something states where its a criminal offense, though. So in the other dozen or so you're ok to seek medical care without risking arrest or prosecution.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:28 AM

9. ......

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:45 AM

17. Yep, this was a couple years ago.

Here's a link
http://news.change.org/stories/pregnant-iowa-woman-arrested-for-falling-down

Then there's Bei Bei Shuai, in jail for attempting suicide while pregnant. She lived but her baby didn't.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #17)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:52 AM

19. The story of Bei Bei Shuai breaks my heart.nt

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #19)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:55 AM

20. It does mine too...

it also scares me.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #20)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:06 AM

22. Yes, I'm not ignoring the slippery slope.

Death of fetus = murder is coming .

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #22)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:09 AM

26. again, why i had issue a couple years ago when a man was hitting woman in stomach... or something

killing a preg woman and making it two murder counts. then you are sitting the fetus up as an independent person. that step is used to go after women in all kinds of manner, thru out her preg, where she can be charged with murder for a miscarriage.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #26)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:12 AM

29. The thing is, these laws have been on the books for decades.

They were never intended to be used this way. They were supposed to be used against criminals.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #29)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:17 AM

31. but, the repugs found the way to use it against woman. nt

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Response to redqueen (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:38 AM

12. i heard about this. laws are setting women up in all kinds of ways. nt

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Response to redqueen (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:43 AM

38. Good Lord!

I fell down stairs when I was seven and a half months pregnant with my first child. Broke my right ankle. I was on crutches for the next few weeks, which made me highly memorable, because AI was so very pregnant. At least I was in a walking cast when he was born.

Oh, my son came out just fine. This was nearly thirty years ago, and he's wonderful, smart, and like every other human being on this planet, uniquely himself.

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:16 AM

5. I hope she beats them good so they will wish they never jailed her in the first place.

 

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:17 AM

6. This bullshit has got to stop.

Spinelli should lose her job. Only when people start getting fired for this bullshit will it stop.

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:34 AM

10. Is rape even a crime, anymore?

When a woman comes forward and submits to the invasive collection of evidence, she is helping to protect all women and girls. If rape was really a crime, that evidence would be so important, any warrants for the woman would be ignored.

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Response to MsPithy (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:37 AM

11. One would think rape would supersede

a check for warrants,but apparently not.Another reason to not report that rape.

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Response to MsPithy (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:43 AM

15. it seems to me, a couple decades ago, where they could not arrest someone for something in their

history when coming forward with the crime of rape. it is vaguely in my mind. i do not know for sure. would be interesting if anyone knows. or if it was just an unspoken thing the police did.

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Response to MsPithy (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:49 AM

18. Considering how many untested rape kits are sitting around in police departments...

that's a very good question.

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:40 AM

13. Isn't this religious discrimination?

I mean if you hold your religion as the basis of action, namely withholding medication, isn't that religious discrimination? Especially if it harms someone?

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Response to Sivafae (Reply #13)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:45 AM

16. not sure what you are saying. but, in wisc, the woman state senator said she was jewish and in her

religion the law being passed was an affront to her religion. yet she is not insisting that all live by her religion. the abortion issue. if it is the mothers life, she says her religion say must save the mother.

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:04 AM

21. This is such bullshit.

Spinelli should lose her job for this. Hell, maybe she should be charged with practicing medicine without a license, since she took it on herself to override a doctor's orders.

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Response to drm604 (Reply #21)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:07 AM

23. actually spinelli's actions sets up the victim for an actual abortion, that spinelli is so adament

against.

the after pill does not let the sperm get to the egg. no abortion there. she actually set up the victim to possibly have to get an abortion. really ironic

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #23)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:08 AM

25. Good point. nt

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:08 AM

24. I am really getting tired of the religious accommodation excuses......

 

Even as a Christian I believe if I were a physician or pharmacist, etc. I am obliged by the duties of my hippocratic oath and my profession to provide generally accepted services and products.

My decision to enter those professions and where I channel my profession needs to be against the backdrop of an obligation to provide services. Perhaps being a doctor is not a good fit if I have strong religious convictions that would make it difficult for me to, for example, treat someone who had contracted a venereal disease.

Those individuals need to either avoid the professions or work for a religiously-affiliated hospital or company where a consumer is aware his or her options for treatment may be affected by religious beliefs.

But here we have someone being held against her will. She had not been found guilty of failure to pay restitution (and we know jails get warrants and the like mixed up all the time).

With all due respect to the prison guard, he/she should have either asked another guard to provide the medication or taken this up the chain. A person's religious beliefs must NOT be allowed to impinge on or be used as a defense to this kind of behavior.

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Response to Swede Atlanta (Reply #24)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:12 AM

27. that is how i see it. but, we do it on our side. put up a story about a doctor not treating kids

if they have not received their vaccination because of parent conviction, and watch duers cheer and justify. or if a doctor refuses to treat a person that smokes or extremely overweight. there are plenty of people on du that will justify this.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #27)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:16 AM

30. "vaccination because of parent conviction"

There is a big difference between a woman's private right to a choice which does not have any effect on the well being of others and a potential public health fiasco caused by the anti vaccine brigade though.

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #30)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:18 AM

32. see... lol. this would be one. and for me it is simply, the doctor has the responsibility to take

care of the sick. it does not go beyond that.

and that includes aids patients back in the day when they were being denied by doctors.

(we may disagree, and that is ok)

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #32)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:20 AM

33. "we may disagree, and that is ok"

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #33)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:21 AM

35. lol lol

i am seeing we do not see all things alike, which is more a consistency of real life. it is fun. opens the mind. all in respect. i hear ya

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #27)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:20 AM

34. Agree and don't get me started on parental decisions on children......

 

There is another post today about a German court ruling that male circumcision is the same as abuse/mutilation.

My view there is, despite religious protestations, a decision to be circumcised should be left to the MAN when he is a man. That decision should not be something a parent, hoping the child will live up to be a good Jew or Muslim or Christian, should decide.

The same applies to childhood vaccinations, etc. Now I recognize that parents must make certain decisions for a child such as when to take the child to see a doctor, which treatments (preventive or otherwise) should be applied, etc. There have been numerous cases where the uber-religious parents refused to take the child to see a doctor using only prayer. Courts have convicted these parents of essentially voluntary manslaughter and rightly so. A child is not a piece of property. Good grief we charge people all the time for leaving a dog in a hot car.

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Response to Swede Atlanta (Reply #34)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:25 AM

36. interesting post.

touching on a lot of issues. shows the challenge. gonna think about it.

having two boys, and the issue of circumcision just coming up, i handed it off to my hubby to decide. it is not something i had a lot of knowledge or prior thought to. a decade and a half later and listening to people on du, i think i would think about it a little harder.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #27)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:40 PM

43. That is also wrong,

and it doesn't in any way justify what this guard did.

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Response to drm604 (Reply #43)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:51 PM

45. no justifying on my part. i am consistent. gonna be a doctor... do your job. nt

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Response to Swede Atlanta (Reply #24)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:12 AM

28. As someone said up thread, I believe some

of these religious fanatics ( no offense to normal religious people) are putting themselves in these jobs specifically for the purpose of denying the rights of women in order to protest those rights.

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:45 AM

39. It's not about religious belief.

It's all about controlling women.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #39)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:46 AM

40. i am sure you are right on. nt

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:53 AM

41. Disgusting and wrong.

Thank goodness she did not become pregnant.

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:27 PM

42. Spinelli should be also be charged for practicing medicine without a licence

............ and I agree with other posters - when has the rape victim become the guilty party subject to background investigation when reporting the rape? At their most vulnerable - they are being "raped" again for their past behavior - this couldn't wait - shows how lacking in compassion these officers were.

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:49 PM

44. It seems to me that R.W.'s constitutional rights were violated.

Spinelli was a municipal employee and therefore was acting as a representative of the government. Spinelli acted as she did out of religious conviction, she admitted this. Therefore this was the government imposing religious restrictions on R.B. Doing so violates her 1st amendment rights.

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:08 PM

46. This jail guard should be charged with the felony of practicing medicine

without a license.

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 05:49 PM

49. Good for her. It would be easier to just 'let it go'

But her fight is for ALL of us women. Bless her truly.

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Response to duhneece (Reply #49)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 06:08 PM

50. that is really a good point, and so true. nt

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Response to duhneece (Reply #49)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 06:38 PM

51. I think sometimes we forget to

stop and recognize the bravery of a woman like this because we're so wrapped up in the outrage committed against her. Thanks for reminding us.

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 09:04 PM

52. Good GAWD!

I cannot believe she had to SUE! It should have been a no-brainer!

How awful for R.W.

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