Update: So I am behind the times: Huffington Post blogger Eric Schmeltzer has already posted about this. Check out what he wrote.
Update 2: CNN picks up the story.
A new ABC poll shows white women shifting twenty points towards McCain/Palin. Are white women charmed by Rudy Guiliani and Fred Thompson? Unlikely. They look at Sarah Palin and see a sister.
Women may love Sarah Palin, but she doesn't love them back. We already knew that she opposes abortion even in the case of rape (and incest), but now a more shocking development. What could be more shocking than the fact that Sarah Palin wants to impose her religious beliefs on rape victims and force them to bear their rapists' children? Or that she proudly said that if her own daughter was raped, she would force her to carry the fetus to term? If you were raped in Sarah Palin's Wasilla, you would have to pay for the cost of the rape kit. As Op-Edna explains,
A rape kit is a sexual assault forensic evidence kit, used to collect DNA that can be used in criminal proceedings to assist in the conviction of those who commit sex crimes. The kit is performed as soon as possible after a sexual assault or attack has been committed. It is usually humiliating and uncomfortable for the victim-imagine enduring that and then paying $1200 just so that the criminal who assaulted you might be caught.
While the Alaska State Troopers and most municipal police agencies have covered the cost of exams, which cost between $300 to $1,200 apiece, the Wasilla police department does charge the victims of sexual assault for the tests.
It was only under a Democratic Governor, Tony Knowles, that the state passed a law prohibiting local police departments from continuing this degrading practice.
Palin didn't hesitate to fire Wasilla"s police chief for insufficient loyalty. Laura McGann notes that a judge ruled Palin was within her rights to terminate the police chief, as she did not require cause. That means that if Palin objected to the Wasilla Police Department's policy of treating the crime of rape as an inconvenience, she could have easily changed the policy or found a new police chief who would.
Palin found refusal to ban books, insufficient loyalty, and refusal to terminate an employee at odds with her family all valid reasons to fire municipal and state employees. But the tactless, insensitive, ugly practice of requiring a rape victim to pay for her own rape kit didn't warrant any action. It's a telling commentary on the hostility Sarah Palin has to women's issues, even as she benefits from female enthusiasm due to her historic nomination.
A final point. Alaska has very low taxes. No state sales tax, no state income tax. The state pays each resident out of something called The Permanent Fund. In 2007, if you lived in Alaska more than eleven months, you got paid $1,654.00. So it's not like the citizens of Alaska were so tapped out that asking rape victims to pay for their own rape kits was a tragic yet justifiable decision dictated by harsh economic realities. Nope. Turns out asking city residents for a few bucks to avoid further humiliating rape victims wasn't something that Sarah Palin was interested in.