McCain opposed Biden’s legislation to stop charging rape victims for sexual assault exams

Okay, this issue gets bigger by the hour. John reported on it first, days ago. Finally in the past 24 hours, the corporate media got wind of it (what, not reading our AMERICAblog are we?). Now, the issue has moved beyond just Sarah Palin charging rape victims for rape kits (i.e., intrusive forensic rape exams, exams that are needed to prove the rape and find the rapist). It now involves McCain and Joe Biden.

One would think that the Obama/Biden campaign would have blown this issue up by now – kind of a no-brainer, as John explained this morning. For Christ sakes, the McCain campaign turned that “lipstick on a pig” line into a two-day story — and it was about nothing. This is a real issue that affects the health and safety of women in America. It’s real, it’s creepy as hell, and McCain and Palin are on the record on the wrong side. The very wrong side or a horrible issue. An issue that jeopardizes the very relationship with women that McCain and Palin are trying to build by repeatedly accusing Obama of being a ‘sexist’, among other things. Again, kind of a no-brainer.

Biden has been a champion in the effort to end domestic violence. I know this first-hand from my work on the Board of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Biden championed the effort to stop charging rape victims for exams after they’d been sexually assaulted.

John McCain voted against Biden’s efforts — repeatedly. Like his running mate, John McCain wanted to charge rape victims for exams.

Jed has uncovered the details:

In 1994, John McCain voted against legislation — pushed through Congress by Joe Biden — that helped put an end to the practice of charging rape victims for sexual assault exams.

Twisted as it may sound, charging victims for a forensic exam was a real problem. For example, as AMERICAblog has documented (and the media is now reporting), when Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla, the town charged rape victims for the exams.

Biden’s legislation required that state, local, and Indian governments provide the rape exams to victims free of charge as a condition of receiving federal funds under the Violence Against Women Act. In 2000, Alaska finally passed state legislation in order to qualify for federal funding.

McCain not only opposed Biden’s legislation, but also has voted against funding it as recently as October 2007.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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