Advocacy Correspondence: PA House of Representatives, Support for House Bill 2032, Sexual Assault Testing and Evidence Collection Act
June 16, 2022
TO: Honorable Members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
FROM: Heather Tyler, Vice President, State Legislative Advocacy
SUBJECT: Support for House Bill 2032, Sexual Assault Testing and Evidence Collection Act
On behalf of 235 member hospitals statewide and the patients and communities they serve, The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) writes to express its support for House Bill 2032 sponsored by Representative Meghan Schroeder.
This bill resolves a technical conflict faced by health care providers when a victim chooses to remain anonymous per the Sexual Assault Testing and Evidence Collection Act (SATEC) and directs the Pennsylvania State Police to determine what resources would be required to implement a statewide sexual assault tracking system.
Currently, SATEC provides survivors of sexual violence the right to remain anonymous when seeking medical care, including when participating in a forensic rape exam and having evidence collected, preserved, and tested. Pennsylvania law also currently requires that health care providers report details about injuries received by victims of violence, including information such as the victim’s name.
Thus, health care providers—particularly those working emergency departments—are put in an untenable position when providing skilled, trauma-informed health care to victims and remaining compliant with professional obligations under the law.
It is absolutely critical that these patients receive proper, thorough health care, even if they are not ready to report the crime committed against them. This bill removes a technical conflict so that health care providers can compassionately treat patients at their most vulnerable moment.
HB 2032 amends SATEC to clarify that a health care provider would not commit a violation under Title 18 if they do not report sexual assault injuries under two conditions: (1) the victim requests anonymity under SATEC, and (2) the victim does not suffer from a wound or injury inflicted by his own or by the act of another, which caused death or serious bodily injury or was inflicted by a deadly weapon (as defined in Title 18).
Thank you for the opportunity to provide the hospital community’s position on HB 2032. We thank you for your ongoing partnership and ask that you vote yes on the bill.
Topics: Public Health
Revision Date: 6/16/2022
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