Texas GOP Rep On Abortion: Women Get ‘Cleaned Out’ With ‘Rape Kits’

One Texas GOP state representative is apparently confused about what “rape kits” are used for.

While the Texas House debated an anti-abortion omnibus bill for 15 hours Sunday night, Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D) called for an exemption for victims of rape and incest, the Associated Press reported. Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R) objected, saying “rape kits” make that exemption unneccessary:

“In the emergency room they have what’s called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out,” [Laubenberg] said, comparing the procedure to an abortion. “The woman had five months to make that decision, at this point we are looking at a baby that is very far along in its development.”

Her apparent confusion about “rape kits” — a phrase generally used to describe the equipment used by medical personnel during forensic examinations to gather physical evidence following allegations of rape or sexual assault — sparked widespread ridicule on social media sites. Laubenberg then simply rejected all proposed changes to her bill without speaking until the end of the debate.

Republicans in the Texas House passed the bill this morning, after hundreds flooded the state legislature to oppose the measure which would place new restrictions on how, when and where a woman could obtain an abortion in the state.

Rep. Thompson made her case for a rape and incest exemption while a wire hanger hung from her podium’s microphone, a symbol of pro-choice protests like the one recently held in Wisconsin.

Texas Democrats have threatened to filibuster the bill to keep it from reaching Governor Rick Perry’s desk before the end of the special legislative session which ends Tuesday. Abortion-rights advocates say the bill would eliminate all but five abortion facilities in the state.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zoë Schlanger is Frontpage Editor at TPM. Zoë was a TPM intern in 2011, and prior to returning here she was editor in chief of NYU Local, the alternative independent student news site at NYU. Zoë has interned at places like the Nation, InsideClimate News, The Rachel Maddow Show and Gothamist. She can be reached at zoe@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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