During this weekend’s edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace put Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott on the spot over his state’s recently enacted law banning almost all abortions — with no exceptions for rape and incest — after some six weeks of pregnancy. In response to criticism, Abbott has discussed a push to “eliminate” rape, which is obviously — tragically — un-realistic and profoundly disrespects those who are victims of something that can’t just be wished out of existence. Wallace asked if it’s “reasonable” to tell pregnant victims of rape in Texas that they shouldn’t “worry” because rape will be “eliminate[d]” in the state, and Abbott did not have a direct answer.
As Wallace initially put it:
‘Is it reasonable to say to somebody who was the victim of rape and might not understand that they are pregnant until six weeks — “well don’t worry about it, because we’re going to eliminate rape as a problem in the state of Texas”?’
Abbott replied with the following:
‘Well, there’s multiple things I have to say in answer to this, but the first thing obviously is that survivors of sexual assault — they deserve support, care, and compassion, and Texas is stepping up to make sure that we provide that by signing a law and creating, in the governor’s office, a sexual assault survivors task force. But separately from that, Chris, I’ve got to point out about the ways that I have fought to arrest, and apprehend, and try to eliminate rape. I sought the death penalty for repeat rapists.’
Wallace subsequently cut in to continue his questioning and asked as follows:
‘There were more than 15,000 rapes in 2019 when you were governor… A state Representative, Republican state Representative, says that he’s going to offer a new measure that would restore the exception to the Texas abortion law for victims of rape and incest. If that came to your desk, will you sign it or not?’
Abbott pushed back, insisting that the goal of the original law was the protection of “every child with a heartbeat,” although characterizing entities in the womb as “children” from the moment that they possess a heartbeat isn’t science-based — it’s ideological. As the governor self-confidently put it:
‘Well we’ve got to go back, Chris, to what the reason was why the law was passed in the first place, and the goal is to protect the lives of every child with a heartbeat… This goal is consistent with what the United States Supreme Court has written, and that is states have the ability to make sure that we protect the health and safety of both the mother and the child, and that’s what we are seeking to do here.’
Watch the exchange below:
CHRIS WALLACE: Is it reasonable to say to a rape victim who might not know they're pregnant until 6 weeks, 'don't worry about it, because we're going to eliminate rape'?
GREG ABBOTT: The goal is to protect the lives of every child with a heartbeat pic.twitter.com/o7rJ5G6JZF
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 26, 2021