Quote of the Day: Rape kits are…abortions?

protestors gather in Texas to oppose anti-choice bill

Protestors gather in the capitol rotunda to oppose Texas’ omnibus anti-choice bill. [Image via]

On Sunday night, hundreds of pro-choice activists flooded the Texas state capitol to try to block the Republican-controlled legislature from passing a massive anti-choice bill–a bill that includes a 20-week abortion ban and would shut down all but 5 clinics in the state. The “people’s filibuster” had successfully delayed the vote for a dozen hours last Thursday, but in the early hours of Monday morning, the House gave preliminary approval to the bill.

As Think Progress reports, in the midst of the long debate, perhaps the most absurd claim (ever?) was one made by state Rep. Jody Laubenberg, who explained that she didn’t support an exemption for rape victims in the 20-week ban because rape kits are a form of abortion.

“In the emergency room they have what’s called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out,” she 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.”

There is literally nothing about this that makes any sense. In fact, I’m not actually sure exactly where Laubenberg went wrong, but here are some facts: A rape kit is used to collect DNA evidence from a survivor’s body. It has nothing to do with abortion. Some hospitals provide emergency contraception to rape victims. EC is not  the same as abortion. People like Rep. Laubenberg, who do not have a basic understanding of the proposals they are debating, are making policy that will affect the health and lives of millions of Texans.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like Cosmopolitan.com, TheAtlantic.com, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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