Fresh off of signing a widely criticized voter suppression bill into law, Republican Governor Greg Abbott of Texas answered questions regarding Senate Bill 8—the law banning abortions after six weeks and criminalizing anyone who aids or abets an abortion after that time.
The law went into effect earlier this month, despite hopes the Supreme Court would halt it due to its violation of the landmark Roe v. Wade case.
If the state revoking anyone's bodily autonomy wasn't alarming enough, the law makes no exception for victims of rape and incest. When Abbott was asked to defend Texas forcing people to carry pregnancies to term, Abbott demonstrated his ignorance of how pregnancy works and vowed to end rape in the state of Texas.
When asked why the government should be able to force a rape or incest victim to carry a pregnancy to term, Abbott said:
"It doesn't require that at all, because obviously it provides at least six weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion. That said, however, let's make something very clear. Rape is a crime, 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."
Firebrand progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who raised millions of dollars for Texas earlier this year in the wake of devastating winter storms in the state, took to CNN to poke holes in Abbott's absurd claims.
Ocasio-Cortez told anchor Anderson Cooper:
"I find Governor Abbott's comments disgusting. ... I do know that he's not familiar with a female or menstruating person's body, because if he did, he would know that you don't have six weeks. That 'six weeks'—and I'm sorry we have to break down Biology 101 on national television, but in case no one has informed him before in his life, six weeks pregnant means two weeks late for your period. And two weeks late on your period ... can happen if you're stressed, if your diet changes, or for really no reason at all, so you don't have six weeks."
She then addressed his comments on rape:
"The majority of people who are raped and who are sexually assaulted are assaulted by someone they know. These aren't just predators that are walking around the streets at night. They are people's uncles, they are teachers, they are family friends, and when something like that happens, it takes a very long time, first of all, for any victim to come forward."
The Congresswoman added that many victims prefer not to take their case to the carceral system even after reporting, potentially retraumatizing themselves.
"This idea that we're going to 'end rape' when the same type of, frankly, rape culture and the same type of misogynistic culture that informed this abortion law to begin with, those beliefs are held by the Governor himself and the Texas state legislature. ... It's awful, and he speaks from such a place of deep ignorance, and it's not just ignorance. It's ignorance that's hurting people across this country."
She summed up her opposition in a tweet sharing the segment.
People praised Ocasio-Cortez's words.
Some disagreed, however, that Abbott was ignorant about what he was saying.
Ocasio-Cortez was far from the only one to call Abbott out.
The conservative Supreme Court's refusal to halt the law's enforcement has led to increased pressure on Congress to codify Roe v. Wade through legislation.