January 31, 2007

More on the jailed rape victim in Florida

Posted in Civil rights, Feminism, Government, Medicine at 4:43 pm by The Lizard Queen

After reading the original story, I didn’t think I could be more outraged than I already was. Naturally I was wrong. First, we have the “apology”:

“We feel remorse that she ended up in jail,” said Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy, offering an apology on behalf of the department.

That’s a lovely use of the passive voice there. It’s not, “We’re terribly sorry we put you in jail instead of further investigating your rape”–that would actually require admitting they’d done something wrong! Personally, I don’t think that apology is sufficient.

Next, the nurse at the jail denies refusing the woman an important second dose of emergency contraception because of the former’s religious beliefs; instead, she claims that she “didn’t administer the pill because it wasn’t listed on a medical chart.” I can maybe understand her being reluctant simply to take a patient’s word for it that she needed a dose of medication (though that makes a lot more sense for, say, narcotics than it does for EC), but when the woman asked for it, could she not have called the hospital or clinic where the woman was given the first dose to verify that the second dose was needed? I’m not buying it.

Finally, we have this gem:

The medical services at the jail are run by Armor Correctional Health Services an affiliate of Medical Care Consortium, Inc., which has donated $18,000 to Republicans and $4,000 to conservative Democrats since its founding in 1998, according to opensecrets.org.

One lobbyist for MCCI is Sports Illustrated writer Don Yaeger, who was suspected of doing favors for Jeb Bush’s second Secretary of Corrections, James Crosby. Why would he do such a thing? Because they wanted the big state contracts being offered up by Jeb’s drive to privatize the whole friggin state apparatus. There was a requirement, though, that a company had to manage the health of 10,000 inmates for a year. Managing Hillsborough county’s jail was just a step along the path to a bigger payday, and MCCI tried to get the state to lift the 10,000 head requirement based on the Hillsborough gig–which Armor bid on three days after being founded and won despite not being the lowest bidder for the job and submitting MCCI’s financials instead of its own. Hillsborough is, of course, where the young woman was detained and denied the medical treatment prescribed by her doctor. It was also inside Katherine Harris’s old district and one of her biggest supporters, both politically and financially, was Don Yaeger.



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