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Texas Rape Kit Is Like Dilation and Curettage Procedure

Society & Culture  (tags: abuse, activists, americans, crime, dishonesty, freedoms, government, law, politics, rights, society, women )

- 1797 days ago -
"the emergency rooms they have what's called rape kits, that the woman can get cleaned out, basically like a D and C" -- dilation and curettage surgery, often performed after miscarriages. Says Rep Jodi Laubenberg

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Kit B (276)
Monday June 24, 2013, 6:37 pm
Flaming Pants on Fire image from Poltifact

Jodie Laubenberg says Texas rape kit is like dilation and curettage procedure - in Texas legislative debate.

The lead House sponsor of legislation pitched by advocates as improving the safety of abortion clinics and restricting certain late-term abortions described kits used after sexual assaults as akin to a procedure that scrapes out tissue lining the uterus.

In floor debate that would extend hours past midnight June 23, 2013, Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, mentioned "rape kits" after Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, presented an amendment to Senate Bill 5 to exempt victims of rape and incest from limits on abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. A day later, the GOP-majority House advanced the measure to the Senate for possible action before a 30-day special session was to end June 25.

Laubenberg, responding to questions from Democratic Reps. Joseph Moody of El Paso and Dawnna Dukes of Austin, framed her refusal to accept Thompsonís amendment by implying that rape kits used in hospitals can prevent unwanted pregnancy. Laubenberg said that currently, in "the emergency rooms they have whatís called rape kits, that the woman can get cleaned out, basically like a D and C" -- dilation and curettage surgery, often performed after miscarriages.

We looked into whether the representative was correct that a rape kit is akin to dilation and curettage surgery, ultimately finding no common ground or any factual basis for this claim.

Dilation and curettage, according to a fact sheet on the website of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, is a surgical procedure that removes tissue from the lining of the uterus; it is often performed after a miscarriage. A womanís cervix is dilated, or widened, to permit the use of instruments such as a curette, a thin metal tool with a scoop or ring on one end that is used to scrape the interior of the uterus.

The doctorsí group put us in touch with Dr. Bonnie Dattel, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Eastern Virginia Medical School, who said by phone that a D&C is sometimes performed after a miscarriage to remove material left from the pregnancy that could cause infection or excessive bleeding if left in place.

In contrast, a rape kit typically consists of tools, storage containers and paperwork related to collecting evidence in the first days after a possible sexual assault, according to Texas experts we reached and information posted online by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, which calls itself the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization.

The network says: "Following a sexual assault, the victim has the option to go to the hospital to have a forensic examination by a trained professional. During a forensic medical exam, a sexual assault evidence collection kit may or may not be used. The evidence kit affords the opportunity to collect any DNA that may have been left by the suspect."

The networkís web page makes no mention of surgical procedures, instead saying a kit may contain instructions, bags and sheets for evidence collection, swabs, a comb, envelopes, blood collection devices and documentation forms.

An exam using the kit "will most likely begin with the examiner obtaining a complete and thorough medical history from the victim. The medical forensic exam also involves a head-to-toe physical examination, which includes the genital area," the network says. The exam may also involve the collection of blood, urine, hair and other body secretion samples; photo documentation; the collection of the victimís clothing, especially undergarments; and the collection of any possible physical evidence that may have transferred onto the victim from the rape scene, the network says.

"Once the examination is completed and all specimens are collected," the network says, "they are carefully packaged and stored to assure that they are not contaminated."

In interviews, representatives of the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, which says itís committed to ending sexual violence in Texas, and the Collin County-based Turning Point Rape Crisis Center, which counsels rape survivors, elaborated on what a rape kit is and isnít.

TAASA spokesman Rick Gipprich said by telephone that certified sexual assault nurse examiners typically use the kits to gather information and collect relevant samples.

Sometimes a pregnancy test is administered, Gipprich said, but that is solely to see if a survivor might have been pregnant before the assault. Also, he said, the pregnancy test is not part of the kit. In addition, Gipprich said, a survivor may be offered high-dose antibiotics to ward off sexually transmitted diseases as well as a "morning after" pill to prevent impregnation, though such drugs and those offers are not part of the kit, he said.

Jennifer Spugnardi, director of the Turning Point center, said by telephone that a rape kit is "really papers and envelopes," reflecting the nurse examinerís responsibility to document an incident. Spugnardi said the kits are sometimes called "Sirchie kits," referring to a forensics supplies company that sells the kits. Online, we found a photo of a $15 Sirchie kit designed to meet criteria for a kit as spelled out in a publication from the Texas attorney generalís office. Sirchie describes the kit as containing legal and medical forms, oral swabs and hair combs and containers to separately hold clothing or biological samples.

Like Gipprich, Spugnardi said any prescribed medicines are not part of a rape kit. She also pointed out that a kit can be used for a female or male victim. Regardless, she said, a kit is not equivalent to the D and C surgery or related to it.

Spugnardi called the legislatorís statement "a very poor choice of words."

By email and telephone, we asked Laubenberg how she reached her conclusion. She didnít immediately respond.

***Our ruling

Laubenberg said a rape kit is equivalent to dilation and curettage surgery.

A rape kit consists of items a medical specialist employs to gather evidence related to a possible sexual assault. It is not the same as the D and C procedure, which removes the lining of the uterus.

We find this unsupported claim incorrect and ridiculous. Pants on Fire.
Austin - American Statesman - Politi Fact Texas


Kit B (276)
Monday June 24, 2013, 6:44 pm

Even an angst filled debate like the one currently on the floor of the Texas can apparently offer moments of shocked humor. This was not a slip of the tongue, Representative Jodi Laudenberg did not misspeak she actually believes what she said. That a Rape Kit is the same as an abortion.

That is an example of the bright, shining minds "debating" a woman's right to choice and women's health care.

JL A (281)
Monday June 24, 2013, 7:26 pm
So scary that staff and personal research of factual information relevant to issues being discussed are no longer the norm for so many elected to serve in state legislatures.

Past Member (0)
Monday June 24, 2013, 10:41 pm
Scary shit

Sue H (7)
Monday June 24, 2013, 11:17 pm
Absolutely unbelievable.... this is a college educated woman?? I'm simply dumbfounded.

Dee C (229)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 6:20 am
You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last day.

Pathetic.. is what it is..Having an education unfortunately does nor ensure one will have any intelligence..

Thanks Kit..

Jim P (3257)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 7:24 am
Are you sure that Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, is a college educated woman...?
Sounds more Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, fluffed her way through school without learning how to read nor speak.
This is the author of the bill Teaxaas is trying to pass by sneaky means of a "special session"... lol...

Ty, Kit.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 8:07 am
Unbelievable--this is so creepy. Sometimes i'm left speechless with the things I comb through on here...thanks Kit

Suzanne B (246)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 8:42 am
thanks for sharing this!

Nancy L (141)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 9:12 am
Rape kit same as abortion??? I think not!


Yvonne White (229)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 10:47 am
OMG! Can't these dumba$$es at Least Google these "facts" before deciding what medical procedures Really are? I'm betting people who watch ANY version of the Law & Order TV series know that "rape kits" are NOT the same as an abortion. "We looked into whether the representative was correct that a rape kit is akin to dilation and curettage surgery, ultimately finding no common ground or any factual basis for this claim."

Phillipa W (199)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 11:26 am
wow. for a while there I thought they were actually going to start doing D&C's to rape victims! that truly is one terrifying thought. Sad she's trying to scare women into staying silent by making them fear rape kits like this and not going to hospital or the police.

Barbara K (60)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 12:28 pm
Geez, these are some stupid congressmen. They need women on the panels to straighten out their stupid minds. Stupidity reigns in the Republibagger party. Gotta find a way to fix Stupid. ... Oh, wait, I know how ....Vote them out! Time to dump these lunatics for good.

Kit B (276)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 12:33 pm

This woman is part of the Texas legislature but after this she has probably earned her way to National politics.


Debra T (17)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 12:50 pm
How about we give Texas a D&C up the butt! Totally unacceptable!!

Angelika R (143)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 1:00 pm
Please, get the idiots out of public office, how could they get in there in the first place.., my goodness, unbelievable.

Lynn S (235)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 1:19 pm
Laubenberg's stupidity is so offensive! I think Ms Laubenberg needs a little field trip to the local emergency room to see what a real 'rape kit' looks like before she continues in her public health role and opens her mouth again. What a ditz!

Kit, it is scary when you say "...she has probably earned her way to National politics." She belongs in the unemployment line!

Past Member (0)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 1:52 pm
A "real" rape kit is more like a Pap Smear, but with somewhat more intrusive measures they take.

The questioning by police is the worst part and it's why it goes unreported so often.

I will attest to both!


Angelika R (143)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 2:49 pm
Happening now: Livestream: TEXAS Senate Abortion Debate

PETITION -Thank TX State Sen. Wendy Davis for her Heroic Filibuster Against the War on Women!

Angelika R (143)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 2:53 pm
Texas State Senator Wendy Davis is all that stands between her state and one of the most sweeping abortion restrictions in the country -- one that could close nearly every one of the stateís abortion clinics.

RIGHT NOW, Sen. Davis is in the middle of a heroic 13-hour filibuster on the floor of the Texas Senate to run out the clock on the special session and ensure the demise of the bill, which has already passed in the House and which Gov. Rick Perry is sure to sign if it passes the Senate.

Sen. Davis needs our support! Please sign our note to Sen. Davis now thanking her for her epic stand.

The filibuster rules are so strict that Sen. Davis must remain standing the entire 13 hours and canít even lean on a desk. She is reading personal testimonies of women who have undergone abortions to fill up her time.

Whether she completes the task or not, she deserves our gratitude for the effort -- and our encouragement now.

Please join us in cheering her on and saying ďthank you.Ē

Sen. Davisís stand against the Republican War on Women in her state is so inspiring. And the right-wing, anti-choice extremism she is up against is fierce. The Republican state rep who sponsored the anti-choice bill, Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, is among those zealtots like Todd Akin and U.S. Rep. Trent Franks pushing pseudoscience in their crusade against womenís rights. She believes having an exemption in the law for victims of rape and incest is unnecessary because these women have already been "cleaned out" by emergency room "rape kits."

Yvonne White (229)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 3:11 pm
Thanks Angelika! Signed!:) Texas women should be breaking out the ropes & branding irons to hogtie those idiots pretending They Know Better than Women (though, seriously, they only know RepubliCON women & They are pretty stupid, plus they keep opening their mouths & Proving their own stupidity..;)

Vallee R (280)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 3:13 pm
Wish I could give you another star for your cmment Kit - this is horrible though

Birgit W (160)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 3:33 pm
This kit should certainly contain high-dose antibiotics to ward off sexually transmitted diseases as well as a "morning after" pill to prevent impregnation. This would make far more sense than having an abortion 20 weeks later.
Nobody talks about the rape victim. They have to go from one insult to another. Instead of being treated with understanding and compassion, they have to go through more agony. Shame!

Bette-Ann Libin (11)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 3:42 pm
Sounds like this procedure will eliminate any evidence of rape????????? WTF!!!!!!!!

Kit B (276)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 4:04 pm

After the rape the ER doctors once did and probably in other states do still, give prescriptions for the antibiotics and the morning after pill.

No, Bette-Ann it is same rape kit. Just an outrageous stupid statement.

Rose Becke (141)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 4:21 pm
I am speechless

Sheri Schongold (7)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 4:31 pm
She is an idiot. I hope her children, if she has any, go to a reliable source for their sexual information,

Jim P (3257)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 4:31 pm
Signed note thanking Texas State Senator Wendy Davis for her stance.

Info in Angelik's box above.


Theodore Shayne (56)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 4:37 pm
Where do they get these people?

Diana Bair (7)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 4:40 pm

Kit B (276)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 4:40 pm

Thank you Angelika for the additional information and petition to Thank Wendy Davis.

Republicans tried but failed to force an earlier vote and a longer filibuster. Despite missing Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, who was in San Antonio attending funeral services for her deceased father, Democrats dug in and held on to one-vote margin they needed to block the attempt.

The first requirement of the bill is for all abortions to take place in surgical centers, facilities designed to cope with major surgeries that could lead to life-threatening complications. The majority of abortions are not surgical procedures, and 37 of the stateís 42 abortion clinics donít meet that new standard, so many would need to relocate and spend millions of dollars to reach it.

Those five remaining clinics are in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and two in Houston. A woman living along the Mexico border or in West Texas would have to drive hundreds of miles to obtain an abortion if the law passes.

I think you might have to live in Texas to realize just how big this state really is, and how far apart those clinics are. This is not about the health or well being of women, any fool can see that.

greenplanet e (155)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 9:50 pm
Umm, what was her point? Is she trying to scare women away from reporting?

The aftermath of rape shouldn't be as bad as or worse than the rape. I hope there is sensitivity around this.

Why can't the rapist, if known, be subjected to a "head-to-toe examination"?

Rape is very saddening.


Robert O (12)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 11:20 pm
Just when I think I've heard it all from the conservatives they go and say something even more inane and asinine to astound me once again. We must remember the war being waged on women is still raging on and being enabled by ignorant, narrow minded people that don't believe in freedom of choice, much less freedom of anything else. As far as they're concerned we the people only have the right to their opinions. Thanks Kit.

Sherri G (128)
Wednesday June 26, 2013, 12:36 am
Right to life believers cannot stand that there may be a way to get an abortion whether caused by rape or not. Rape kits so far as everything I know or have read does not equal a dilation and curettage nor a way to secretly abort the rapist baby. All one has to think about to confirm this is to ask yourself if a dilation and curettage would take more time or cost the hospital more to perform. If it costs more no way it is going to performed thanks to budget cuts. Thanks Kit Noted.

Patricia N (9)
Wednesday June 26, 2013, 12:55 am
I'm beginning to wonder if some of those state and federal politicians got through high school let alone any college. In fact....maybe they didn't make it through elementary school. Do they ever do any important work? Is their whole agenda to put women down where they used to be forty years ago so white males can rule the world again?

yvonne marie green (0)
Wednesday June 26, 2013, 1:25 am
I feel like I had the wind knocked out of me... horrific!!!

Kit B (276)
Wednesday June 26, 2013, 5:24 am

Thanks to Wendy Davis, Texas Senator from Fort Worth, and her groundbreaking efforts at a true filibuster this nightmarish bill is tabled - for now.

The bill will be back, more efforts to quash any discussion will come with a renewed energy as republicans will now see themselves as protected from any backlash. Within 2 hours of the Fraud Five effectively ending the voting rights act, Texas issued a statement that all regressive changes for voting begin anew.

Dot A (182)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 4:54 pm
What bunch of monsters!!! No reasoning with monsters,.... -an obvious attempt to discourage those who would report rape. Monsterous crime, and monsterous games being played by the legislation, - as they rape in their own 'legal' fashion,.... Thanks to those who keep close tabs on such practices!!!

Maureen C (4)
Sunday June 30, 2013, 10:06 pm
I saw a video clip of Rep. Laubenberg's comments, but I was too busy picking my jaw up off the floor to note her name or state, so thanks for this, Kit. She really did say that the rape kits that her government funded "cleaned a woman out", but, heck -- this is the political party who thought that women's bodies magically shut down any possibility of pregnancy in cases of real rape.

I suppose any woman who doesn't know what a rape kit does is lucky.

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