On November 2, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that emergency responders will now be permitted to carry emergency contraception and sexually transmitted infection treatment (post-exposure prophylaxis). These new protocols serve as another measure to improve Michigan’s sexual assault response to ensure survivors have access to appropriate medical care.
The Quality Assurance Task Force recently voted unanimously to approve new Medical Control Authority protocols proposed by the Whitmer Administration for critical follow-up care for sexual assault patients. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) also adopted the new protocols, advocating for more prevention and response tactics.
MDHHS will be providing training to all EMS agencies to better aid survivors. The protocols align with research that indicates there has been an increase in sexual assault survivors seeking medical care. Additionally, emergency department visits for sexual assault have been 15 times higher in the past decade.
This development comes after Governor Whitmer signed an executive directive 2022-05, for all state departments to identify opportunities to increase protections for reproductive healthcare.