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Chris Wallace confronts Texas governor about abortion ban's lack of exception for rape

Abbott claimed restoring exceptions for rape and incest is "a hypothetical that's not going to happen because that bill is not going to reach my desk."

Chris Wallace confronts Texas governor about abortion ban's lack of exception for rape
Cover Image Source: Twitter/Aaron Rupar

Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace put Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in a tough spot on Sunday when he confronted the Republican over his state's restrictive anti-abortion law which bans abortions after six weeks, even in the case of rape or incest. Pointing to Texas' 2019 data on rape, Wallace also grilled the governor about his defending the radical legislation's lack of exceptions for victims of rape and incest by pledging to "eliminate all rapists" in the state. "Is it reasonable to say to somebody who was the victim of rape and might not understand that they are pregnant, you know, until six weeks, 'Well, don't worry about it because we are going to eliminate rape as a problem in the state of Texas?'" he asked.



 

Wallace then pointed to Texas' 2019 data on rape — citing that 15,000 cases were reported that year — while adding that "almost everyone says that that's a severe undercount." However, Abbott avoided giving a proper answer to the host's queries and instead beat around the bush. "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," he said.



 

"But separately from that, Chris, I got to point out about the ways that I have fought to go to arrest and apprehend and try to eliminate rape. I sought the death penalty for repeat rapists," Abbott added. Wallace cut off the governor at this point to once again remind him of the number of rapes reported across the state. "Governor, excuse me, because we are running out of time," Wallace said. "There were more than 15,000 rapes in 2019 when you were governor."



 

The news anchor then pressed Abbott on whether he would support a bill to restore exceptions for rape and incest. "Well, we've got to go back, Chris, to what the reason was why the law was passed in the first place," the governor replied, "and the goal is to protect the lives of every child with a heartbeat." When Wallace asked whether this included "the child of a rape," Abbott dismissed the question, asserting that a bill restoring exceptions for rape and incest is "a hypothetical that's not going to happen because that bill is not going to reach my desk."



 

Abbott has staunchly stuck by the 'heartbeat' bill's lack of exceptions for rape and incest despite the widespread outcry over the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the nation. In a press conference days after the law went into effect, the governor claimed the law does not force rape survivors to have their assaulter's child as it gives them up to six weeks to get an abortion. "Let's make something very clear: Rape is a crime," Abbott said. "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."



 

"So goal No. 1 in the state of Texas is to eliminate rape so that no woman, no person, will be a victim of it," he added. Following his latest interview with Wallace, Abbott faced more criticism online. "Yet, they just passed permit-less carry in Texas and aren't requiring masks in schools. Tell me again how this is 'protecting every child with a heartbeat?'" tweeted @jenmulvaney.

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