After Roe v. Wade was overturned by the US Supreme Court in late June, Texas’ trigger law outlawing abortions went into force in August. There are no exceptions for rape or incest under the state’s criminal abortion statute.
In an interview with KXAS-TV and The Dallas Morning News that will appear on Sunday, Abbott stated that victims of such assaults can use Plan B—emergency contraception popularly known as the morning after pill, which is meant to be used within 72 hours after unprotected sex—to avoid pregnancy.
“We want to support those victims, but also those victims can access health care immediately, as well as to report it,” Abbott reportedly said.
“By accessing health care immediately, they can get the Plan B pill that can prevent a pregnancy from occurring in the first place.”
The Republican governor’s remarks provoked a social media uproar.
“We are going to end Greg Abbott’s career on November 8 and the women of Texas are going to lead the way,” tweeted Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat challenging Abbott for governor of Texas.
While defending a Texas law that outlaws abortion after around six weeks of pregnancy, O’Rourke also cited Abbott’s prior declarations that he would “eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas.”
O’Rourke wrote, “Under Greg Abbott, Texas leads the country in rape offenses while the rate of arrests for rape in our state has dropped by nearly HALF since he became governor. What happened to him eliminating rape?”
“It is so uniquely cruel to force pregnancy on people in a state with the worst access to prenatal and maternal healthcare in the country, and then to say rape victims should just take Plan B to prevent pregnancy,” wrote Olivia Julianna, a Texas-based activist.
“But of course @GregAbbott_TX is a special type of evil.”
“Corrupt scumbag Greg Abbott once stupidly said he was going to end all rape in Texas, now he’s blaming rape victims for being raped by saying they should be on Plan B to avoid getting pregnant. Texas, is this the soulless evil misogynistic a**hole you want to still represent you?” wrote Singer Ricky Davilla.
“Wow. Greg Abbott says rape victims can access Plan B instead of getting abortions. Meanwhile…Texas leads the nation in the number of rape incidents—and the arrest rate has fallen by half since he took office,” Democratic strategist Sawyer Hackett tweeted.