A woman was raped. She went to the hospital. She reported the rape. They gave her two "morning after" pregnancy prevention pills. She took one as instructed.
Then a horribly bad day got worse. She was arrested on an outstanding warrant and taken to jail.
The victim, who is only identified as R.W. in court records, visited Tampa’s Rape Crisis Center on Jan. 27, 2007 where a “rape kit” procedure was performed and she was given two contraception pills. The doctor instructed her to take one pill immediately and the second one 12 hours later.And then it gets really bad.
R.W. then reported her rape to Tampa police and was arrested after it was discovered she was wanted for failure to appear and failure to pay restitution on a previous charge.
When R.W. requested her second contraception pill the next morning, Hillsborough County Jail employee Michele Spinelli refused on religious grounds.The good news is that R.W. did not get pregnant. The bad news is that Florida has an "conscience clause" law which allows pretty much anyone to not issue contraception if it violates their religious beliefs. R.W. is suing, but Spinelli may get away with her behavior due to this stupid law.
“Spinelli told the Plaintiff that she would not give R.W. the pill because it was against Spinelli’s religious beliefs,” a complaint (PDF) filed in United States District Court Tampa Division states.
Originally found via
IANAL, but I wonder if the suit has a chance because the pill was R.W.'s property, and Spinelli was withholding her own property from her as opposed to refusing to fill a prescription.
P.S. Turley blog weighs in, and the good professor raises the possibility that had R.W. become pregnant as a result of Spinelli's decision, should would have had grounds for a "wrongful birth" suit against the state of Florida. Curiouser and curiouser.
H/T Otteray Scribe