OK,WASILLA, Alaska — In 2000, Alaska lawmakers learned that rural police agencies had been billing rape victims or their insurance companies $500 to $1,200 for the costs of the forensic medical examinations used to gather evidence. They quickly passed a law prohibiting the practice.
According to the sponsor, Democrat Eric Croft, the law was aimed in part at Wasilla, where now-Gov. Sarah Palin was mayor. When it was signed, Wasilla's police chief expressed displeasure.
(More at link.)
1) The article doesn't say, or even imply, that Palin began, approved, or even knew of the policy.
2) Recognizing that this subject (rape) is really easy to score political points over what sounds like a practice that may be, if not common, at least not unheard of in lots of places.
3) Also pointing out that the article quotes the Governor's spokesman saying that Palin is absolutely opposed to this practice.
4) OTOH, if this was going on while she was Mayor, and if she only found out about it when the state legislature passed a law forbidding her city to do it, then what does it say about her"executive experience".
5) And her Chief of Police supposedly objected to (stopping charging crime victims), and nothing happened to him?
Nationally, victims' advocates have for years reported scattered instances of rape victims being required to pay for their forensic tests, says Ilse Knecht of the National Center for Victims of Crime in Washington. Those complaints have subsided somewhat after Congress in 2005 passed a law requiring states to provide rape exams free of charge or reimburse victims for the costs, says Knecht, whose group supported the provision.
"The reason we passed the legislation was that we saw it was prevalent enough to be a pretty considerable problem," Knecht says. "There are no other victims of crime that end up being billed for evidence collection."
The Senate version of the legislation that included the rape-exam provision was sponsored by Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, the Democratic vice presidential nominee. Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama was one of 58 co-sponsors; Republican presidential nominee John McCain was not.