what's the good news?

Woman Arrested After Reporting Rape: Good News, Bad News Edition

Bad news! A lady was raped. Good news! She went to the hospital, was cared for, and was given two birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. Bad news! The lady was arrested by the Tampa PD on a warrant when filing her police report. Good news! Er, hmmm. Bad news! Prison employee Michele Spinelli refused to give the lady her second pill, on “religious grounds.” Good news! The lady did not get pregnant anyway. Bad news! We will just repeat that again: Prison employee Michele Spinelli refused to give the lady her second pill, on “religious grounds.”

Good news! A US District Court judge says the lady can indeed sue Spinelli. Bad news! But not the sheriff who was supposed to oversee the jail. Good news! Florida has a “conscience clause” stating that any pharmacist or doctor cannot be held liable for refusing to fork over your slut pills. Oh wait, that is bad news. This story kind of sucks! Bad news! Even the judge allowing the lawsuit to go forward refers to the morning after pill as “terminating a pregnancy” instead of “keeping a pregnancy from occurring.” Bad news! Just like they took over the schoolboards in the ’80s, the Christian Right has had a long-term goal of practically preventing women from getting birth control by stacking the pharmaceutical colleges and getting conscience clauses passed throughout the nation. Bad news! Some counties only have one pharmacist, and she is Michele Spinelli. [RawStory]

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Rebecca is the editor and publisher of Wonkette. She is the author of Commie Girl in the O.C., a collection of her OC Weekly columns, and the former editor of LA CityBeat. Go visit her Commie Girl Collective, and follow her on the Twitter!

View all articles by Rebecca Schoenkopf

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156 comments

    1. Lionel[redacted]Esq

      You can only wear a short skirt in public if you first lock your chastity belt.

  1. Chick-Fil-Atheist™

    How soon before this skirmish on women finally gets the war headlines it deserves?

    1. sewollef

      How soon…?

      Not fucking soon enough. These kind of stories really make me sad. And angry.

      Mostly angry.

  2. MumbletyRadio

    I think I just got overdosed / overexposed on/ to exclamation points — so I'm returning the favor with excess/ extraneous indulgence/ preponderance for backslashes [/].

    1. SayItWithWookies

      Which is maybe something that someone who was refused a morning after pill might be inclined to give Michelle Spinelli. Okay my previous sentiment might be a little too stabby, but damn, if I had a uterus and someone whose job it was to hand me a pill that was prescribed to me refused, I'd be incensed.

      1. dinkybossetti

        I have a uterus, and one time when I was young, I called my ob/gyn's office to get the morning-after pill. One of the receptionists told me they wouldn't prescribe it, and I was so mad I began shaking and could barely speak. I went to Planned Parenthood instead. When I went back to the ob/gyn for the follow-up appointment, he asked why I'd gone to PP. When I confusedly told him that I had called his office and was told I couldn't get the pills from him, he was LIVID. I couldn't identify the lady who answered the phone, but I like to think that she was fired.

        Anyway, my trip to PP was a result of my sluttish ways (enjoying sex), not the result of a horrible crime that had been done to me. Considering the rage I felt upon being told my doctor wouldn't prescribe the pills for me, I cannot even imagine what this poor lady must feel. My head would have surely exploded.

    2. sullivanst

      It's ridiculous that I get peeved by this, but I'm afraid I can't help it. / is a slash; \ is a backslash (which turns out to confuse IntenseDebate a little).

        1. Designer_Radio

          I remember the difference by looking at the top of the slash, and determine whether it is "falling backward" or "falling forward". This distinction hardly matters to anyone aside from coders, I imagine, but there it is.

          1. sullivanst

            I've been programming C-family languages for 20 years, hence my peevishness :P

            I learned it simply by observing that / is the one you see in regular English usage, and \ is the "backwards" version of the common one, which also happens to be how it got its name.

          2. SayItWithWookies

            A call one of them a "slash" and one of them a "slash — no not that one, the other one." Yes, helping people with their computer problems can be a pain in the ass sometimes.

      1. sewollef

        Maybe it's because of the normal computer naming convention of applying 'slashes – /' [on a Mac], or 'backslashes – ' [on a pc], to denote a hierarchical menu system.

        Could be. Or it could be crap. Who can tell?

  3. SorosBot

    Hey, he was just exercising his freedom to force other people to conform to his religious mores – you know, the "freedom" that was just invented by the Catholic Church last winter, which actually goes against all First Amendment precedent and is completely opposed to freedom.

    1. prommie

      Hell, it even goes against Catholic church longstanding practice with regard to the RC church's charity organization employees (as opposed to actual church employees). RC church, or the fucking asshole Bishops, anyway, are being disingenuous to the point of bald-faced laying about alllll this shit.

      1. FakaktaSouth

        Well, my mama always said you should do what you're good at – and there ain't NOTHING RCBishops are better at than lying.

          1. FakaktaSouth

            Instant audio-repetitive disorder reaction. I'll be singing that song all day now. Love.

          2. prommie

            You started it with the "not to put too fine a point on it." I am there too, singing to the blue canary in the outlet by the light switch. So many of his songs come from him imagining the world through the eyes of his babies. Its too charming and nice.

          3. FakaktaSouth

            Well, I DO like starting stuff and I agree, very very nice. Peaceful. Like I want to be, DAMNIT TO HELL. I'M PEACEFUL, YOU HEAR ME?

    2. Groupshrug

      The ability to deny a woman birth control is a part of freedom of speech. When a pharmacist decides that a woman who was just raped should have to have the baby because the pharmacist said so, the pharmacist can say "It's time to make lemonade out of lemons, you Whore"

      Now if a pharmacist wasn't able to make the decision about whether or not women could have access to birth control, the pharmacist wouldn't be able to say the bit about how women are sluts that should be glad they got pregnant… So the pharmacist's freedom of speech would be limited.

      Get it now?

    1. Serolf_Divad

      Bad news: Florida purges of minority voters will decide the next Presidential election.

      1. SexySmurf

        Good news! Mittens' incompetence will cause the Revolution, which I assume I'll be leading. All hail Chairman Smurf!

        Bad news! I'm incredibly corrupt!

        Good news! It comes with a free frogurt!

        Bad news! The frogurt is also incredibly corrupt!

    2. Veritas78

      Better news! Now I have a good excuse never to even visit as a tourist! Before it's inundated, that is, which may be happening right now.

  4. Baconzgood

    Fucking fuck shit fuck Mother Fuckers with a fucking rusty fucking fence post covered in fucking shit.

    Man this kinda story pisses me off like an onion. Just when you think you heard enough you peel off another layer and there's more. BACONZ FUCKING HATES ONIONS! EATING THAT SHIT MAKES ME FUCKING PUKE!!!!

    (this comment is 100% snark free)

    1. Serolf_Divad

      Scientists at the Christian Medical Association have definitively proven that a woman's thigh muscles are stronger than anything known to man. Thus, it is a myth that a woman can be involuntarily inseminated.

      1. sullivanst

        I detect a flaw in their argument: if they're stronger than anything known to man, that must mean they're unknown to man, so how can we know how strong they are?

      2. sewollef

        I detected another flaw.

        You said, "Scientists at the Christian Medical Association'.

        Do I win a prize now? For the answer is surely Shaman, amirite?

  5. Fukui-sanRadioBarb

    Even the judge allowing the lawsuit to go forward refers to the morning after pill as “terminating a pregnancy” instead of “keeping a pregnancy from occurring.”

    Gnnngh.

    Could I then refer to my punching the judge in the schnozzle as "proactive ground-standing in the the defense of the enlightenment period of human history" rather than, say, "assault"?

    1. GemlikeFlame

      Primarily because that particular form of self-assertion is more formally called "battery." However, in this instance I'm prepared to go with the flow. Should you somehow miss, I'd like to bat cleanup. A Louisville Slugger has a large contact surface and should do the trick.

      Arigato gozaimasu and all.

  6. fawkedifiknow

    Bad News, ladies: The guy who decides if you have to have a rapist's baby is a skirt and Prada shoe wearing pedophile enabling dude by the name of "Benny the Rat" Ratzinger, and he's infallible because he says he is.

    1. BoatOfVelociraptors

      It's, not only pro-life, it's pro rapist. The more rape babies we have, the more rapists we get! The logic is infallible!

    2. freddymcmurray

      Spinelli can't be a Catholic, otherwise she wouldn't have given her even one pill. My fucking local Catholic hospital won't even permit surgeons to perform vasectomies. Unbelievable.

      1. sullivanst

        She didn't give her even one pill. The pharmacist, who was not Spinelli, gave her two pills; she took one before being arrested. Upon her arrest, the pill was taken from her, and Spinelli refused to give it back.

  7. CivicHoliday

    I have a daughter and tons of young female cousins. If anyone anywhere pulls this bullshit on any of them at any point in their lives, they will, at best, lose an eye and a few toenails. Don't fuck with my family, fundies. I do not take this shit lightly.

  8. freakishlywrong

    So you go and report a rape and get arrested? I mean, they couldn't have written a sternly worded letter and then maybe arrested after that? Fucking loads of shit.

    1. boobookitteh

      Unless she was wanted for murder, that does seem like failing the 'be a fucking human" minimum standard.

  9. Come here a minute

    How about letting Michele Spinelli give the lady a lecture on being a slut who is asking for it (by being a lady with ladyparts) in exchange for just handing over the damn pill.

  10. Crank_Tango

    Yet if a priest comes in with a scrip for viagra, I bet she'd fill it. OK that would never happen, right?

    1. SayItWithWookies

      It's for his blood pressure dammit! Which goes up every time he sees that hot altar boy.

      1. chicken_thief

        "that hot alter boy"

        Who is just asking for it… I mean, have you seen the way he bobs his head when he prays?!!!

  11. EatsBabyDingos

    Next, fireman announces his water is holy and will not be used to douse a Jew's house on fire. But he will bring non-Kosher hotdogs and proclaim it "Godswill." Which is how I accidently typed it but is a message from abong.

  12. Chet Kincaid

    Welcome to the new normal! We will never be rid of these people. They are better organized than us, and the rich will always prop them up, because they help them keep their wealth, and stupid Christian morality laws never apply to the rich. As for the 51%, how's that "Feminism is Grandma's hobby" thing working out for you?

    1. FakaktaSouth

      Fucking feminists man, if only Michele had stayed home and been knocked up her ownself instead of getting to school herself into a career that is fucking shit up for others, maybe the other lady wouldn't have been tormented after being raped. Or something. I feel all tire slashy and flail-abouty with this. GROSS.

    2. Chichikovovich

      I hope someone asks Campbell Brown what she thinks of this case.

      I wonder how she'll spin it against Obama and Planned Parenthood.

        1. Chichikovovich

          Every month I become more convinced that I'll be needing it sooner rather than later. Maybe if I adopt you …. you'd have to get used to the name Chichikovovichovich, but that's a small price to pay.—

  13. Schmannnity

    There have been a lot of rapes around Mediterranean and Baltic Avenues. She should move from that side of the board.

  14. Goonemeritus

    When we finally get the FEMA camps up and going there will be a long list of things I will be denying these pricks based on conscience.

  15. Texan_Bulldog

    So she was basically arrested for being raped. Is this a great country we live in or what?!

    1. Schmannnity

      She should consider herself lucky. In Arizona, she would also have to prove her residency.

      1. sewollef

        She should count herself luckier still. In Saudi Arabia, she'd be sentenced to death by stoning. After being raped again by the prison guards, natch.

    2. ChernobylSoup

      How does a human even do that? And by THAT I mean arrest the woman. I don't understand. Imagine you're on desk duty at the precinct. Woman comes in to report a horrendous crime. You check your database, see that the woman didn't pay a speeding fine from 6 years ago (or more likely, did pay the fine and some dumbass forgot to update the log), and decide RIGHT THEN that your priority is to arrest her?

      WHO DOES THAT? Police officers have a lot of discretion when it comes to that sort of thing. What kind of sub-human pimply faced little dicked cop does that?

  16. Baconzgood

    To all the Wonkette girls who live in the south I'm officially inviting you to come up north. WE like you. You can even crash on my couch until you find a place.

      1. Baconzgood

        And it's a strictly platonic offer. If if makes you feel wierd crashing on my couch for free, you can buy the lil' lady and I some pizza and beer every friday night until you get yourself on your feet.

    1. prommie

      I'm gonna join in baconz kind offer, any southern wonkette girls who want to emigrate, I am establishing a refuge, the prommie home for wayward girls.

    2. walterhwhite

      And if they come to Masssachusetts, they can buy the Morning After pill at any local pharmacy (except I don't know about the South Shore….)

  17. FakaktaSouth

    ACK. I will never, as long as I live, understand people who feel they have a right to control another grown human being. I am doing everything I can NOT to wish horrible things on the cunt that injected her morality into another person's tragedy – but DAMN this bitch is making it HARD. Fuck you Michele Spineli and the self righteous, sanctimonious, power lording, pharmacy degree you rode in on. All the brains must be in the second L for these women.

    1. prommie

      Its all right, let it go, don't fight it. Wish horrible things on her, its good, its the right thing to do. No need to be restraining yourself, anyway.

      1. FakaktaSouth

        I can't tell you how much I enjoy a person telling me to embrace my true nature. I hate feeling vengeful, but some people do bring these feelings from me on themselves and there is just only so much I can ignore before really, a person deserves to be punished. Even if they NEVER see what they have done. Oh lord, maybe I do need to be restrained too. This was the WRONG article for me to(any)day. Just wrong.

        1. prommie

          The only thing I will not tolerate is intolerance, myself. I am large enough to contain contradictions, I think Whitman said something like that. I just plain despise any and all who think that their religion requires them to force others to abide by their religion. I despise those religions that teach that, too.

          1. sullivanst

            Do I contradict myself?
            Very well then I contradict myself,
            (I am large, I contain multitudes.)

    2. BoatOfVelociraptors

      Rapist sperm is sacred,
      rapist sperm is good,
      and it should be wasted,
      Michele's in a bad mood.

  18. elburritodeluxe

    Christian Science teaches that you can overcome any illness through prayer. What would stop a pharmacist with those beliefs from failing to prescribe all drugs?

    1. walterhwhite

      Hey, don't bash Christian Science. They may have strange views about healing through prayer, but they don't try to impose them on anyone else. BTW, not likely a CS would become a phamacist.

  19. n0npr0phet

    I didn't see anyone point out that jailing a recently raped women is probably not the best thing for her.

  20. Exhausted66

    Last time I made a comment about the brain capacity of Micheles with one L, I lost a p.

    I won't make that mistake again.

  21. Callyson

    R.W. then reported her rape to Tampa police and was arrested after it was discovered she was wanted for failure to appear and failure to pay restitution on a previous charge.

    That's IT?!? I thought it would be something, you know, serious…

    They couldn't have just fucking have fined her or something?

    Christ…

  22. Chichikovovich

    I would have written a different headline. The shocking thing about this story isn't the arrest after reporting the rape: Whether it's an outrage that she was arrested depends on what the warrant was for. If it were for a few unpaid parking tickets, yes, it's an appalling move. If it was for long unpaid court ordered restitution for a substantial theft of property, or assault, then I don't see that the sheriff would have much choice. The linked article doesn't say what the warrant was for.

    The horrifying part of the episode is i) the denial of birth control ii) that has already been provided by a pharmacist and has been taken away from the person who posesses the birth control iii) by someone who is just holding on to the pill and has no business denying it, iv) to a person who has just been raped, and v) who is incarcerated and therefore has no opportunity to seek other routes.

    I've not yet seen a story that more obviously and appallingly exemplifies how these "conscience clauses" are not about freedom of religion at all. They are about the licence to impose religious values on someone else, possibly with huge negative consequences to the victim, with complete impunity from any consequences to the theocrat, criminal or civil.

    Edit: It's imperative that a list of these sort of cases. Add the woman in Montana (? Idaho maybe?) who was arrested and imprisoned for using RU-486. Add any others I havent heard of (and I'm sure they are legion). Give them publicity.

    1. Tyrannically_Joe

      Add to that the additional element that Spinelli was also pretty clearly acting as an agent of the state in her role in the prison, which means that it was, in effect, the state that was denying this woman a medication she had already been perscribed and dispensed, because of a religious objection.

    2. Dildeaux

      I suppose when an employee fails to act due to concience-related concerns, the mythical "free market" will step in. There will either be many employees willing to do the job, hence the employee who refuses to work is eliminated, or there will be a groundswell of concience-related support lined up against providing the necessary service. With employement numbers where they are and with the planet not yet being overrun by sociopaths, Dild believes the concience-realted work failures would be very short lived in the land of the invisible hand.
      BTW: if my concience were to be anti-war in the 1960's, my concience-related failure to serve would have landed me in prison.

  23. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    "And god said 'let there be rape babies!' and there were rape babies. And god saw the rape babies and they were good".

    Amen

    1. walterhwhite

      And God said, oh wait! I don't care about the rape babies. I only care about the rape fetuses. Once they're born, they're on their own.

  24. mavenmaven

    So the state of Florida has both a "Conscience Clause" and the "Stand Your Ground" law. So if Spinelli had shot the victim after refusing her contraception, that would have been OK?

  25. An_Outhouse

    My religion requires me to feed you hallucinogenic mushrooms then sacrifice you the the dark lord. That's cool to do to prisoners, right?

    1. prommie

      Can I have an order of mushrooms, leave out the sacrifice? Matter of fact, can you substitute extra mushrooms for the sacrifice?

  26. Lascauxcaveman

    America's Prison Guards: Judge, jury and executioner on all matters of moral rectitude. And prison guard, too!

    1. freakishlywrong

      Wonkette is only the messenger starfangled, it's these intolerant, bullying assholes that your fellow citizens have become that depress. (all of us).

  27. philpjfry

    What the fuck is wrong with these sanctimonious assholes? Where do they get the right to impose their beliefs on other people? Does freedom of religion mean they get to push their religion down other peoples throats? This must disgusts me. How can anyone, no matter how self righteous do something like that? Cocksuckers all of them

    1. Chichikovovich

      Unfortunately, unless Michele Spinelli is gay, the Lysistrata strategy will just make it easier for her to get bedroom action around the trailer park.

      1. SayItWithWookies

        Hey, it's the 21st century — lack of sex for people who do odious things can be applied to anyone, regardless of their gender or sexual identity. And I, for one, will gladly not fuck her.

  28. Jerri

    These dumb, selfish, motherfuckers. I hope they never need help of any kind, and if they do, I hope the person who can give it to them is a smug self-righteous ignorant fuckstick with a point to make about his favorite invisible friend.

  29. Doktor Zoom

    Not that anyone really WANTS a more outrageous example, but how about this story from the UK? Woman gets coerced by her abusive spouse to drop marital rape and assault charges against him, and is then prosecuted for filing a false report with the police. NOT the initial claim that her husband beat and raped her–nope, it was the RETRACTION that got her prosecuted, because the cops believed that she had been raped, so when he scared her into recanting, she was filing a false report.

    That's some catch, that Catch-22.

  30. Dildeaux

    Employees of any industry who refuse to perform their jobs are to be terminated immediately. This shit gets old fast.

  31. 1stNewtontheMoon

    my new backup plan is to: (a) attend pharmacy school in the south, (b) land a sweet sit-on-your-ass gig with walgreens/cvs/etc., (c) immediately covert to christian scientistism and (d) refuse to do a goddamn thing forever (except collect checks).

  32. prommie

    Its Florida's new "stand your doctrine" law, you get to shoot anyone who doesn't worship your way.

    Now you wanna hear whats funny? Way the fuck back in the early pleistocene when prommie was attending a State university in the very same State of Florida, the student health center put up posters all over campus advising the womenfolk of the free and easy availability of the old ad hoc morning-after pill (just 3 regular birth controll pills, its been around forever). But I suppose that may have been an extraordinary emergency measure necessitated by the presence of the young and virile prommie on the campus.

  33. Beowoof

    Hmmm, I think if we sued shit heads such as Michele for the resulting child support things may change.

  34. Redhead

    So if I punch Michelle in the face and then refuse to let her get medical help, on "religious grounds," that's totally kosher, right?

  35. BoatOfVelociraptors

    Great, now I have the beginnings of a musical in my mind.

    We like rapists(a)!!, We like rapists(c)!!
    Every rapist spawn that is not born is wasted!
    We like rapists(a)!!, We like rapists(c)!!
    Every Uteri hit by Penii is sacred!

  36. Puffperney

    Yet again… I have to say that none of these inane laws would be passed without a good number of women voting these wingnuts into office…

  37. NYNYNYjr

    Michele with one L,
    usually unwell
    Michelle with two,
    I'm fine with you,
    Michellle with three,
    let her be

Comments are closed.