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Emergency Contraception

Pennsylvania law ensures that sexual-assault survivors receive access to emergency contraception (EC) in hospital emergency rooms.  As part of the minimum standards for the examination and treatment of a sexual-assault survivor, a physician or other health-care provider must offer a sexual-assault survivor information about EC and provide medication to her upon request.

A hospital may be exempted from the law if compliance would be contrary to the hospital's stated religious or moral beliefs.  If the hospital determines not to provide EC based on a religious or moral objection, it must notify the Department of Health of the Commonwealth, law-enforcement agencies, and ambulance and emergency medical-care and transport services within 30 days of its decision.  Moreover, the hospital is required to provide sexual-assault survivors with oral and written notice that it does not offer EC due to religious or moral objections.  The hospital must also upon request provide a sexual-assault survivor immediate transportation, at no cost, to the closest hospital where she may obtain the medication.

28 Pa. Code § 101.4 (2008); 28 Pa. Code § 117.51-53 (2008); 28 Pa. Code § 117.55 (2008); 28 Pa. Code § 117.57 (2008)

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