It turns out that the reason why Sarah Palin opposed paying for rape kits with city money, instead sending the bill to the victims, might not be what we thought. Personally, I just thought that like most law-and-order nuts, she was simply sexist and thought that crimes against women just count less. It couldn't have actually been the $14,000/year; Sarah Palin billed tax payers more just for her own food.
hekebolos at DailyKos suggests that it's about the emergency contraception that rape kits contain (from a May 2000 article on a law that passed that year specifically in response to the Palin administration's refusal to pay for these kits):
The new bill would also make law enforcement agencies that are investigating a sexual assault responsible for the costs of testing victims for sexually transmitted diseases and emergency contraception.
More after the jump.
Funny that this comes out right when Sarah Palin is defending herself against Trooper-Gate. The McCain campaign's defense there? Sarah Palin didn't fire Walt Monegan because he refused to fire her former brother-in-law, she fired him because he was going to lobby Congress for funding to investigate sexual assault:
On May 7 of this year, Randy Ruaro, the governor's deputy chief of staff, complained in an e-mail to Rehfeld, the budget director, that Monegan's department "is constantly going off the reservation."
"The last straw" leading up to Monegan's firing, Van Flein wrote, was Monegan's planned trip to Washington, D.C., to seek funding for a new, multimillion-dollar sexual assault initiative the governor hadn't yet approved.
Yup, that's her defense. It's not that he wouldn't fire her sister's ex; it's that he wanted to get federal funding to fight rape. Of course, if he wanted money for a bridge to nowhere, that would have been fine.
And then there's this statement from the McCain campaign:
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."
"Gov. Palin's position could not be more clear," she said. "To suggest otherwise is a deliberate misrepresentation of her commitment to supporting victims and bringing violent criminals to justice."
Taken at face value, she supports funding for "evidence-gathering." That statement does not say "rape kits," which also include STD tests and emergency contraception.
Could that really be it? Is it really about forcing women to go through with a pregnancy or an abortion after a rape just because she and some people in her church are uncomfortable with rape victims using emergency contraception? Does she value women's autonomy that little?
Well, that's the defense WorldNetDaily went with two days ago:
In May 2000, the Alaska legislature enacted a law that would provide rape victims with the tests, free of charge - along with testing for sexually transmitted disease and access to emergency contraception.[...]
Palin, a mother of five children, has a pro-life voting record and has not indicated support for the morning-after pill. She is a member of the anti-abortion group Feminists for Life. The organization has warned women against "blindly accepting" morning after pills as just another artificial contraceptive method. It claims Planned Parenthood and other proponents push the medication as a way to prevent pregnancy.
"Although these supporters call morning-after pills 'emergency contraception,' the term is a misnomer, as the pills actually act as an abortifacient in many cases by preventing the implantation of an already-fertilized human embryo," a 1999 Feminists for Life newsletter stated.
It's getting pretty obvious where Sarah Palin's values lie, and it's not with protecting women's freedom, financial conservatism, or bringing violent offenders to trial - it's with making sure that no woman can use contraception or get an abortion.