Support the troops? Not if they are victims of rape.



As outraged as we all were over Sarah Palin charging for rape kits, it seems she was just following marching orders. If it's good enough for the Pentagon, it's good enough for Palin. TRICARE, the Pentagon's Military Health System that covers active duty members, doesn't pay for forensic rape kits.

Women in the military are twice as likely to be raped as their civilian counterparts. In fact, "women serving in the U.S. military today are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq," Congresswoman Jane Harman, D-Calif., told the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs in May.

Currently, forensic examinations are not covered for beneficiaries in civilian health care facilities through TRICARE medical plans because TRICARE "may cost share only medically or psychologically necessary services or supplies. Forensic examinations are not conducted for medical treatment purposes, but for the preservation of evidence in any future criminal investigation and/or prosecution."

The decision to treat rape kits as purely evidentiary, ignoring the very real medical and psychological benefits to the victim, is reprehensibly primitive thinking. Making sure that those legislative changes happen as planned would be a long overdue step out of the primal ooze that has slimed our military in the eyes of our citizens and the world.

Support for the troops should not just be lip service. Read the full article at AlterNet while I go in search for my lost faith in humanity.

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