A bill banning the sale of over-the-counter rape test kits has already cleared the WA State House, now being debated in the Senate.

Bill would ban the sale of kits over the counter

According to information from The Center Square, Senate Bill (SB) 1564 has already easily cleared the WA State House (the house version) and now legislators are debating.

Leda Health, a New York-based company, describes itself as providing support and justice and other services for sexual and other assault victims.  However, GOP Senator Gina Mossbrucker, who sponsored the ban bill, says Leda is targeting college-aged women, and attempting to profit off what she says is trauma.

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According to The Center Square, Mossbrucker also says the kits being sold by this company are interior to the ones utilized in hospitals and medical facilities.

Mossbrucker said:

"The person who’s doing it themselves to do their kit is under the impression that they can do it themselves, mail it in, and get prosecution. So, we’re traumatizing them twice.”

Also, the issue of admissibility in court was raised by officials with the WA State Attorney General's office. Heidi Anderson, who is the assistant attorney general in the consumer protection division of the attorney general’s office, testified during the debate:

“When handled properly, sexual assault examinations provide crucial evidence that is often key to successfully prosecuting perpetrators of sexual assault. Despite claims to the contrary, at-home sexual assault kits cannot substitute for this crucial evidence and therefore do offer false hope to survivors. At-home kits are ineligible for testing by the Washington State Crime Lab and face numerous barriers to admission as evidence, including on the basis of potential cross contamination or spoilation.” (from the Center Square) 

There was testimony from several people against the ban bill, including representatives of the Leda firm.

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