Sexual assault is still a huge issue in this country and in the Lone Star State, one that’s been allowed to fester thanks to a poorly-equipped justice system and some sexist policing practices, but good luck explaining any of those nuances to Governor Greg Abbott. The Republican politicin held a press conference today, where he was questioned on the recent abortion ban his legislature was able to sneak through at the eleventh hour. The ban — which is the most restrictive abortion law in the country, prohibiting women from receiving care after their pregnancy hits the six-week mark and deputizing private citizens to not only report them but sue both patients and care providers they suspect are in violation of the law — makes no allowances for rape victims, effectively forcing them to carry unwanted pregnancies to term if they don’t seek treatment within the allotted time frame.
Now obviously this whole thing is messed up, but Abbott’s response to a reporter who asked why there was a need from lawmakers to force a victim of incest or rape to carry a pregnancy to term is perhaps the most bizarre comment we’ve seen from the guy so far. Abbott first addressed the question by explaining that the law gave ample time for women to make a decision.
“It doesn’t require that at all, obviously,” Abbott said. “It provides at least six weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion.”
Considering that, under the best and most normal circumstances, a woman might not even suspect she’s pregnant until six weeks — if not further into her first trimester — this answer is just wrong. But, when you remember that rape is a traumatic experience that involves more than just worrying if you might have a fetus inside you afterward, it feels completely ignorant. But look, we really shouldn’t worry about any of that because Abbott has a bigger plan: stop rape from happening in the first place.
“Let’s make something very clear,” he continued. “Rape is a crime and Texas will work tirelessly to make sure that we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas by aggressively going out and arresting them and prosecuting them and getting them off the streets.”
"Let's make something very clear. Rape is a crime, and Texas will work tirelessly to make sure that we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas" — Greg Abbott https://t.co/0bs7pllWWn
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 7, 2021
Riiiight. Considering Texas currently has a backlog of thousands of untested rape kits, and knowing the judicial system the way we do, we predict it’s highly unlikely that Texas will be free of rape in time for it to matter to the millions of women this abortion law harms. But whatever lets him sleep at night?