A Texas Republican state representative who sponsored legislation that would enact some of the nation's strictest abortion bans claimed Sunday night that exemptions for rape or incest are unnecessary because the 'rape kits' used to collect DNA evidence would "basically clean her out."
"If a woman is raped... We have hospital emergency rooms," Rep. Jodie Laubenberg said during floor debate.
"We have funded what's called rape kits that will help the woman, basically clean her out. And then hopefully that will alleviate that."
Rape kits do not prevent pregnancy, or cause abortion. A rape kit is used by medical personnel to collect potential DNA evidence from a rape victim.
Laubenberg’s bill would ban all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It would also effectively shut down all but five of the state’s abortion clinics by requiring them to adhere to standards for ambulatory surgical centers.
Her astonishing comments came in response to a Democratic lawmaker who asked if she felt it fair to require rape victims in El Paso travel over 500 miles to San Antonio, where the nearest clinic would be located if Laubenberg’s bill becomes law.
Laubenberg had opposed an amendment to make an exception for victims of rape and incest.
Laubenberg sits on the Texas House Public Health Committee and chairs the state’s chapter of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which promotes model legislation to conservative lawmakers nationwide.
Republicans voted to cut off debate and pass the measure shortly after 4 a.m. Monday, despite hundreds of citizens and protesters lined up to speak. Final passage moved forward several hours later.
Democrats hope to stage a filibuster in the Senate that will run out the clock on the special session, which ends Tuesday at midnight. Democratic lawmaker Jessica Farrar, chairwoman of the House women’s health caucus, addressed protesters after the vote and said, "It really mattered what you did," making a filibuster possible.