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September 23, 2008

Sarah Palin’s Town Charged Women For Rape Examinations

It is a well known fact that Sarah Palin is against abortion even in the case of rape. However, I believe that requiring women to pay for rape examinations is something that many people did not think would occur in any town, let alone a town where a woman was the mayor. It seems unreal that anyone, especially a woman, would have a policy like that in place. Well, apparently, while Palin was the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska women were charged for rape examinations.

It seems that during the time that Palin was mayor of Wasilla from 1996 to 2002, the chief of police charged for rape kits, until the practice was banned. In 2000, after former state representative Eric Croft, a Democrat, sponsored a state law requiring cities to provide free rape examination kits, the Alaska Legislature banned the practice of charging women for rape kits. The kits, experts say, could cost up to $1,000 dollars.

Palin’s record as the mayor is being scrutinized very closely. Wasilla has a population of about 7,000 and her record as the mayor is something that many voters are looking at as they determine what type of vice president she will be. There are some people that believe that Palin did not know anything about the practice. However, it seems like if your town is the only town that has this practice in place, you would have knowledge of it.

Another interesting fact about Alaska is that it has the worst rape record of any state in the union. Alaska’s rape rate is 2.5 times that of the national average. There is some chance that Palin did not know about charging for rape examinations. However, Croft says that he finds it very hard to accept the fact that Palin did not know that this was going. When a police chief is fighting for a piece of legislation and getting unanimous support, the mayor would most likely know about it.

The other part that is very scary, is that there were other towns in Alaska that charged for women to have rape kits. A forensic nurse who has been treating rape victims across Alaska says that Wasilla’s Police Chief Charlie Fannon opposition to Croft’s bill was legendary. There was, the forensic nurse said, some issues about towns generating money for rape kits.

The bill took six months to pass through legislature. Victims testified that the practice was much like dusting a burglary victim for fingerprints. Having a rape victim charged for an examination is like victimizing her again. This practice seems unthinkable, even if there were issues about finding ways to pay for it.

The Frontiersman, Wasilla’s newspaper printed how the police chief said that it would cost $5,000 to $14,000. This was going to be a burden on the taxpayers the police chief said. While this may cost the taxpayers a little bit more, it seems that will all of the taxes that people pay, this addition so that rape victims don’t have to pay for rape examinations, seems reasonable.

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