Texas Legislator Says Rape Kits Cause Abortions, Get Women "Cleaned Out"

Laubenberg.jpg
You have no idea what you're talking about, on innumerable levels.
You likely know a woman who's had an abortion. You may not realize it, and she may not have informed you -- or you may very well be the woman in question -- but with 1.45 percent of women aged 15-44 in Texas getting an abortion annually, the odds are that you've met, befriended, or loved a woman who has obtained an abortion in our state.

Such breadth is both why certain legislators in Texas's right-lean Legislature have brought forth a bill that would unconstitutionally ban abortions after 20 weeks, and why hundreds of women, as well as those on the Democratic side of the aisle, have attempted to stymie efforts to bring the bill to fruition. If you've had the pleasure of being anywhere near Austin or Twitter over the past 72 hours, you've witnessed one of the most contentious battles of the 83rd Legislative season unfurl. It's fractured the state in a way that discussions on neo-vouchers and water rights never quite managed.

The discussion reached its nadir on Sunday, courtesy of the bill's sponsor, Rep. Jodie Laubenberg. Firstly, Laubenberg rejected out of hand any potential amendments to her bill, and in one of the more cowardly manners possible. According to the AP, "Laubenberg, who has difficulty debating bills, then simply rejected all proposed changes to her bill without speaking until the end of the debate." Difficulty debating bills. Not entirely sure what she's doing in Austin, or if she brings any perceptible skills to the table.

But we digress. The true low point, the moment that will be stamped onto Laubenberg's career for as long as she trundles through Austin, came during her timorous, nerve-addled decision to speak. After Houston's Senfronia Thompson attempted to call for an exemption for women suffering through rape or incest, Laubenberg opened herself to as much criticism as she's ever received:

In the emergency room they have what's called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out. ... 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
Along with most of the people who've since seen Laubenberg's comments, we haven't the foggiest idea what the representative from Murphy was talking about. She either mistook rape kits for Plan B pills, neither of which produce an abortion, or she somehow believed that rape kits in and of themselves, and administered five months later, can lead to an abortion. Either idea is as idiotic as it sounds.

Also, while we're not medically credentialed, we're fairly certain that "cleaned out" -- in addition to being a terrifically crass way of describing the basic procedures of a rape kit -- is as far from accurate as Laubenberg's original point. This woman managed to fumble an already incorrect point. A Gohmert-level show of foolishness.

As it is, Thompson granted Laubenberg the benefit of the doubt. "I thought she might have been confused about what we were talking about that moment," Thompson told Hair Balls. "I don't think it was lack of knowledge."

The bill, which passed through the House Monday morning and is set to pass through the Senate Tuesday, strikes a marked level of meanness. According to CDC's 2009 data, the most recent offered, 0.6 percent of Texas's abortions took place at 21 weeks or more. (New Mexico, which will likely see more Texans flocking for abortions, already leads the nation with nearly five percent of its abortions coming with the pregnancy at least 21 weeks in.) From 2000-2009, moreover, abortions at 21 weeks or more dropped 13.3 percent. Those obtaining these abortions are an increasingly declining crowd, now targeted by Laubenberg and her lackeys.

Unfortunately, Laubenberg's office didn't return any calls to clarify the matter. We'd love to imagine what form of verbal gymnastics would have gotten her out of this. We'd also love to ask her why she believes that capping abortion rights at 20 weeks would somehow be found constitutional within Texas, or why she hasn't any qualms with shuttering 37 of Texas's 42 abortion clinics, or why she seems to ascribe to science as debunked as anything this side of creationism.

And we'd love to ask her if she knows anyone who's ever been "cleaned out" before. We're betting she does.


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33 comments
johncoby
johncoby

Her comment was taken out of context. Here is the complete comment:


"After the rape kit, the brave men and women in the emergency room will suspend the woman with her legs spread shaking her up and down to allow the pregnant juice to flow out of her vagina thingy majig. They follow this medical procedure with a water hose, a power douche if you will, to flush the woman out. In the end she is better off then when she came in."

johncoby
johncoby

This lady reminds me of an over sexed, uneducated,  donkey. A f&^%ing dumbass.

Noelle A. Perry
Noelle A. Perry

well, they can go near other women, unless they're sex offenders or something. but they sure as hell shouldn't be making laws for us.

Stephanie Savage
Stephanie Savage

no misunderstanding - stupidity. talking about something she knows NOTHING about

H_e_x
H_e_x

Is this the kind of small government people like her go on about? 

Stephanie Elena Suarez
Stephanie Elena Suarez

My opinions are my opinions, I just want them to make laws on the greater well being of others. This just proves they're going to completely disregard it and push their agenda.

Mary Ann Dibbern Quintana
Mary Ann Dibbern Quintana

@Sarah Hirsh-Double check the decimal in the article. I think you misread it. It will make it make more sense. I would also encourage you to use a different fact checking website in the future. That one has had quite a few allegations of bias and incorrect info. It's up to you. Hope this helps. :)

Faith Soulsista
Faith Soulsista

more lack a lack of concern, consideration, or compassion because if she had any at all she would have made an effort to do some research on the subject before opening her mouth.

Douglas Mangum
Douglas Mangum

Consider this. Perhaps she knows exactly what she's saying, including the fact that it is a lie. Perhaps she is fully aware that she'll be contradicted, even mocked by some people for what she's saying. Yet she said it anyway because she believes (possibly correctly) that many of the people who voted for her are uneducated enough and/or willfully ignorant enough of the truth to buy the lie?

Kyle King
Kyle King

An ALEC...but not a SMART ALEC...alas.

Sarah Hirsch
Sarah Hirsch

That's why I sourced PolitiFact, a website that fact checks politicians' claims.

Mindi Brown
Mindi Brown

Number don't lie--politicians do ;-)

Jacqueline Guerra Y. Paz
Jacqueline Guerra Y. Paz

Well. I'd say the question has been answered. I'll admit that trying to give her the benefit of the doubt is admirable, but my answer is no. The other week when J. Bush made his "fertile" comment, THAT was a good example of poor phrasing=misunderstanding. But this lady...for all of the aforementioned reasons...no.

John Sczykutowicz
John Sczykutowicz

The good old Texas GOP. Last week it was the fetus masturbating in the womb, now this. It's sort of fun to watch them self destruct. Guess they leaned nothing from 2012.

Vapor Fog
Vapor Fog

No...she has an agenda.. She's the Texas State Chair of the Koch brothers American Legislative Exchange Council.

Autumn Smith
Autumn Smith

It's not a "simple" misunderstanding; it's a FUNDAMENTAL misunderstanding of how the human body works. It seems she skipped 5th grade health class. And every class even vaguely related to science after that.

Becci Himes
Becci Himes

No, it's not a misunderstanding. It's blind ignorance.

Deborah Anne Steinau
Deborah Anne Steinau

ANYONE who thinks a rape kit prevents pregnancy shouldnt be anywhere near other women!!!!!

Shelly Atwood
Shelly Atwood

No... This was one of the clearest examples of ignorance we've heard in awhile.

Sarah Hirsch
Sarah Hirsch

14.5% of women in Texas get an abortion annually? What is the source for that number? There are 26 million people in Texas. If half of those are female, that's 13 million people. If half of those are of child bearing age (extremely rough estimate), that's 6.5 million people. If 14.5% of those people are having an abortion each year, that's about 940,000 people having abortions a year, which is more than 10x the number that pops up at PolitiFact from 2011 (80,000). I do know people who have had abortions, but this figure seems way too high to me. I could be wrong, though... http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2011/feb/18/dan-patrick/state-sen-dan-patrick-says-80000-abortions-are-per/

Kyle King
Kyle King

Willful ignorance is not a simple misunderstanding.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

Yes. She "misunderstands" how rape kits work. I suspect she "misunderstands" how lady parts work.

Kirk Equality Childress
Kirk Equality Childress

it is boneheaded idiocy. no one who thinks a rape kit prevents pregnancy should making medical decisions for other women.

Roxanne Werner
Roxanne Werner

No. Even if it was, she repeated it and this lady authored the bill. There is no excuse for this.

se_hirsch
se_hirsch

@Mary Ann Dibbern Quintana The article was changed about thirty minutes ago.  The article originally read, "...but with 14.5 percent of Texas women getting abortions annually..."  The PolitiFact article I linked to also cites numbers from the Department of State Health Services for several years, so in this case, the article is useful.  

casey.michel
casey.michel

@Sarah Hirsch You're precisely right -- the decimal point was off. The number comes from the CDC's 2009 data, which is linked in the post.

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