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Okay, look, I get that not everybody mainlines CSI on afternoons when they’re trying to procrastinate a book project, but surely everybody on EARTH has caught at least one episode by now, right?

Apparently not:

The bill’s sponsor stopped answering questions about her bill after the first two hours after she got into trouble denying Democratic amendments. When Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, called for an exemption for women who were victims of rape and incest, Rep. Jody Laubenberg, R-Parker, explained why she felt it was unnecessary.

“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.

Let’s take this apart in order of how insane it is:

Every single show on primetime features, at least once a week, a rape kit scenario. I’m only slightly exaggerating. How do you not know what one is? How do you posit that it is basically an anti-pregnancy vacuum hose attached to, I don’t know, some kind of retroactive pesticide spray? What even is she talking about here?

Even if you think that’s what a rape kit is, it has fuck-all to do with the issue at hand. An abortion will “clean out” a woman as well, so if the issue for these sanctimonious ‘necks is that the “cleaning out” is the problem, why not argue against the existence of rape kits.


“Cleaned out” is a weirdly cavalier term, coming from someone to whom this whole process is so sacred unto God. It almost recognizes that a sperm is not a fertilized egg, a fertilized egg is not an embryo, an embryo is not a fetus and a fetus is not a baby. Not quite, but it does make me suspicious of the exact degree of reverence in which this woman holds the conception process.

If you cannot put a sentence together — “they have what’s called rape kits” — such that you do not sound like one of the Beverly Hillbillies, please do not use your cakehole to talk to the people.

You know, I’m perfectly comfortable with people in government who don’t agree with me. I’m even comfortable with a certain amount of nutjobbery — somebody’s got to make the rest of our reps look good, after all. But when you are so grotesquely stupid as to suggest a solution to a problem that is not only not a solution to that particular problem but is not even the thing you think you are talking about, you should be disqualified from public office on the grounds that you need to read some books first and come back when you’ve passed a pop quiz.


Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel is a 10-year veteran of the newspaper business. She publishes First Draft, a writing and politics blog, with her partners Holden, Jude and Scout. She is the author of the books Chicago's Historic Irish Pubs (2011, Arcadia Publishing, with Mike Danahey) and It Doesn’t End With Us: The Story of the Daily Cardinal, about a great liberal journalism institution (2007, Heritage Books). She also edited the anthology “Special Plans: The Blogs on Douglas Feith and the Faulty Intelligence That Led to War” (2005, William, James & Co.) Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Daily Southtown, Sirens Magazine, and Alternet. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two ferrets, and approximately 60 tons of books.