The state of Texas is facing national outcry after the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the nation went into effect. Senate Bill 8, also misleadingly known as the "heartbeat bill," forbids abortions after six weeks—long before the fetal viability period, making it a violation of Roe v. Wade.
Despite this violation, the conservative Supreme Court refused to intervene.
What's more, the bill encourages Texans to turn their neighbors in, allowing a bounty of up to $10 thousand for reporting anyone who obtains an illegal abortion, or even facilitates one.
The bill makes no exceptions for rape or incest. Earlier this month, the state's Republican Governor—Greg Abbott—dismissed concerns for the absence of these protections by absurdly claiming Texas would eliminate rape.
Chris Wallace, an anchor for the conservative Fox News network, challenged Abbott on the lack of protections for rape and incest victims in a tense interview.
"Is it reasonable to say to somebody who is 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?'"
The governor responded that sexual assault victims should be met with compassion and support, and that he'd sought harsher penalties for repeat rapists.
Wallace further pressed him:
"There were more than 15,000 rapes in 2019 when you were governor. ... a Republican state representative says that he's gonna 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, would you sign it or not?"
"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."
When Wallace further asked if Abbott would sign an exception for rape and incest victims into law, he further deflected, dismissing it as a "hypothetical."
The interview didn't do much to help Abbott make his case.
Others called out his hypocrisy.
Abortion providers in neighboring states have seen a surge in Texas patients seeking care.