Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott defended the state’s new pro-life law that bans most abortions after six weeks, around the time fetal cardiac activity is able to be detected.
Abbott signed an election integrity bill into law on Tuesday and was later asked questions by reporters about the controversial pro-life law.
As NBC News reported, “Asked whether the abortion law would force rape victims to give birth, he said: ‘It doesn’t require that at all, obviously. It provides at least six weeks for a person to get an abortion.’”
“Rape is a crime, and Texas will work tirelessly to make sure that we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas,” said Abbott, adding, “There are services available to support victims of rape in the state to make sure that anybody who’s victimized will get the support they need.”
Last week, the Supreme Court chose not to stay the Texas abortion law, a ruling that came the day after the law went into effect, outraging pro-abortion activists and politicians around the country.
The decision sets up a potentially historic win for the pro-life movement if it were to lead the court to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationally.
As The Daily Wire reported:
While Texas is not the first state to enact such legislation, known as “heartbeat” laws, Texas’s case is the first to avoid a stay preventing the law from taking effect. The Supreme Court decided in a narrow decision against granting relief to a group of abortion providers in the state. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal wing in dissenting.
The court’s conservative majority rejected the abortion providers’ request because of the law’s enforcement mechanism, which separates it from “heartbeat” laws passed in other states. The law deputizes private citizens, granting them standing to file lawsuits against violating abortion providers rather than authorizing state agents to police them. The court dismissed the request, which names every state court judge and clerk as defendants, based on procedural grounds.
“It is unclear whether the named defendants in this lawsuit can or will seek to enforce the Texas law against the applicants in a manner that might permit our intervention,” the ruling states. “The State has represented that neither it nor its executive employees possess the authority to enforce the Texas law either directly or indirectly. Nor is it clear whether, under existing precedent, this Court can issue an injunction against state judges asked to decide a lawsuit under Texas’s law.”
The court was also careful not to suggest it had made a decision on the constitutionality of the law.
Pro-abortion activists vowed to boycott Texas and mobilize to push back against the law. Hollywood celebrities took to social media to voice their disapproval of the legislation and promote Planned Parenthood.
As The Daily Wire reported, “The Portland City Council is poised to take a stand against the new Texas abortion law Wednesday by considering a resolution that will ban official travel to and from the state. In a statement, Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office said the Texas law will force ‘people to carry pregnancies against their will.’”
Abbott signed another controversial bill into law on Tuesday — the election integrity bill that Texas Democrats notably left the state earlier this year in order to avoid holding a vote on.
At a signing ceremony on Tuesday, Abbott said the bill makes “it easier than ever before for anybody to go cast a ballot. It does also, however, make sure it is harder than ever for people to cheat at the ballot box.”
“Election integrity is now law in Texas,” Abbott said prior to signing.