If you follow my writing at all, you’re probably aware that I’ve become a huge fan of Samantha Bee’s new show on TBS, Full Frontal. I’ve called it a mix between Jon Stewart’s Daily Show and John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight – but with Bee’s own hilarious style and flair.
Well, a few weeks ago she absolutely tore into Georgia state senator Renee Unterman (R) for trying to kill a bill that would require law enforcement within the state to collect rape kits within 96 hours of the test being administered. The bill also requires a detailed account of the amount of kits that have been used and those which have yet to be returned, to keep an accurate tally during the process.
Why did Unterman want to kill the bill? Apparently she felt it was “unnecessary.” Because that makes sense. Who cares about making it a requirement that rape victims be treated with respect and that rape kits be handled in a timely manner?
That’s not important at all.
Thankfully, because Bee brought this story to the national limelight, pressure increased on state legislators to pass the bill – which then led to Governor Nathan Deal officially signing the “rape kit bill” into law on Tuesday.
As reported by The Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Soon, the opposition became the butt of late-night talk shows. Political satirist Samantha Bee lampooned her by name on her TBS show “Full Frontal,” and Unterman and her Republican allies were bombarded with emails and social media messages urging her to change her stance. It quickly raised the stakes and made the debate a national story line.
“There is no doubt about it in my opinion. The media played a very powerful role in this,” said Gwinnett Sexual Assault Center & Children’s Advocacy CEO and President Ann Burdges.
Just think about that for a moment. This bill went from one state legislator actively pushing to kill it just a short time ago, to becoming law on Tuesday largely because of the attention Bee’s segment brought to the issue.
“There won’t be anymore surprise news stories about 100 rape kits found on a shelf at certain hospitals,” said Jennifer Bivins, of the Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault. “These victims are being heard. These victims are important and these victims can receive justice because otherwise you’ve got victims who may think they weren’t believed or that nobody cared about them.”
While there was clearly more behind this bill being signed into law on Tuesday, it’s clear that the attention Bee brought to this issue (one which I hadn’t seen discussed anywhere nationally) helped expose the stupidity of those who were trying to kill a bill that seemed like a basic, common sense piece of legislation to help rape victims.
So kudos to Samantha Bee and those working on her staff for doing their due diligence to bring attention to an issue that definitely needed more of it.
Watch the segment below via TBS:
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