The Political Pendulum

Palin billed rape victims for their exams.

Posted on: September 13, 2008

USA TODAY:
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.

“In the past, we’ve charged the cost of exams to the victims’ insurance company when possible,” then-chief Charlie Fannon told the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, the local newspaper. “I just don’t want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer.”

Now that Palin is the Republican nominee for vice president, Democrats such as former Alaska governor Tony Knowles — who signed the rape-kit bill into law and was defeated by Palin in 2006 — are raising the issue to question Palin’s commitment to women’s issues and crime victims. Palin appointed Fannon after firing his predecessor shortly after she took office in 1996.

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