Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Tuesday defended his state's controversial abortion bill by arguing that the legislation does allow for victims of rape to get an abortion and that the state will work towards eradicating all rapists.
Abbott made his comments during a press conference in which he addressed how the law applies to instances of rape, according to a local NBC News station.
He said that the new law, which bans all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, allows victims of rape up to six weeks to get an abortion, arguing that it “does not do [forcing victims to have their assaulter’s child],” the news outlet reported.
“Let’s be clear: rape is a crime,” Abbott said, according to KXAN. “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.”
The law has been widely criticized by pro-choice advocates. President BidenJoe BidenFord to bolster electric vehicle production in multi-billion dollar push Protesters demonstrate outside Manchin's houseboat over opposition to reconciliation package Alabama eyes using pandemic relief funds on prison system MORE last week condemned the law, saying it will "significantly impair" women’s access to health care.
“My administration is deeply committed to the constitutional right established in Roe v. Wade nearly five decades ago and will protect and defend that right,” he said at the time.
Abbott reiterated on Tuesday that while his goal is to “eliminate rape," Texas's state organizations will continue to provide rape victims with support, KXAN reported.