Sarah Palin: Making Victims of Rape Pay
It remains a mystery how Sarah Palin's supporters can call her a feminist. As Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, rape victims paid the cost of rape kits used to gather forensic evidence. In 2000, the Alaska state legislature passed a bill banning the practiced. The bill was written because of Wasilla's policy.
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.
Gov. Tony Knowles signed the bill into law. It became illegal for Alaskan law enforcement agencies to bill rape victims for kits. The rape kits can cost between $500 to $1,200. Palin's police chief Charlie Fannon was against the legislation.
Wasilla Police Chief Charlie Fannon does not agree with the new legislation, saying the law will require the city and communities to come up with more funds to cover the costs of the forensic exams.
In the past weve charged the cost of exams to the victims insurance company when possible. I just dont want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer, Fannon said.
Fannon thinks nothing about burdening the victim. Eric Schmeltzer reports that Fannon was hired because his predecessor led a recall against Palin. Fannon has disconnected his phone and will not talk to the media. Palin is going in damage control mode.
Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella said in an e-mail that the governor "does not believe, nor has she ever believed, that rape victims should have to pay for an evidence-gathering test."
Then why didn't Palin change the policy? The Alaska State Troopers and other towns did not charge victims for rape kits. Why did it take the legislature and Governor to change Wasilla's policy?
Update: 76 of 100,000 people are raped in Alaska. The state has more rapes than any other state. That must be what Palin means by small town values.
Michelle Andrews reports that North Caralina is making victims for for rape test kits. "If someone breaks into your house, the state pays for the fingerprinting and DNA sample collecting," writes Amanda Marcotte. "So why not pay for the collection of evidence in rape?" Simple logic would dictate that rape victims should not have to pay for expenses into the investigation to catch rapists. Republicans are so obsessed with tax cuts that they forced the least fortunate to pay the bill. The tax shift continues.
Update: More evidence showing that paying for rape kits started under Palin's tenure.