Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to block a law signed by Texas governor Greg Abbott that encourages private citizens to sue anyone who helps a person get an abortion past six weeks. Like many six-week abortion bans, Senate Bill 8 does not make an exception for pregnancies that result from incest or rape. But Abbott assured the press today those victims have nothing to worry about, because he plans to eliminate rapists altogether.
When asked about victims of rape who would be forced to carry their pregnancies to term at a press conference on Tuesday, Abbott argued that SB 8 still allows “at least six weeks” for the victim to have an abortion, ignoring the fact that many people don’t even know they’re pregnant by the six-week mark. But that doesn’t matter, apparently, because according to Abbott, “Texas will work tirelessly to … eliminate all rapists from the streets … by aggressively going out and arresting them and prosecuting them.”
Exactly how Abbott plans to reform the entire criminal-justice system to properly prosecute sexual-assault cases is unclear. It’s estimated that about one-third of sexual assaults are ever reported to police at all, and if a survivor does attempt to report their sexual assault, the chances of the rapist actually ending up in jail are incredibly slim.
Abbott went on to emphasize that Texas “provides support for those who are victims of rape” through “organizations to make sure that anybody who’s victimized will get the support they need.” Meanwhile, the bill he passed puts a target on the backs of those very organizations, who can now be sued for supporting rape victims by helping them get access to abortions.