Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) angered quite a few doctors and pundits on Tuesday, after misleadingly claiming that his state’s extreme new abortion ban still allows rape or incest victims “at least six weeks” to get an abortion.
The highly-criticized law, which went into effect last week, criminalizes and thus effectively bans abortions at the (incredibly early) six week mark, and makes no exceptions in cases of rape or incest.
Abbott told a reporter that the law does not force a rape or incest victim to carry a pregnancy to term because “obviously it provides at least six weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion.” He went on to make clear that Texas will work “tirelessly” to make sure “we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas.”
The governor quickly found himself in a torrent of online criticism, with doctors and pundits pointing out that not only do most women not even know they are pregnant at the six-week mark, the law does not necessarily allow an individual six weeks to get an abortion; it bans the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy, a distinction that makes all the difference. Furthermore, critics took issue with Abbott’s characterization of rape and the circumstances in which it happens.
Abbott also on Tuesday signed into law the contentious, state GOP-backed elections overhaul, which will introduce a whole slew of voting restrictions in Texas. In July, Lonestar Democrats fled the state in protest of the legislation, which they believe is an effort to “weaken minority turnout and preserve the GOP’s eroding dominance,” per The Associated Press.
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