FNC’s Wallace to Gov. Abbott: ‘Is it Reasonable’ to Say You Will ‘Eliminate Rape’ When You Had 15,000 in 2019?

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace questioned Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) on this week’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday” about the Texas abortion law, which does not have a rape exception.

Wallace said, “You signed a law in May that bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, around six weeks. And there is no exception and that law for either rape or incest. Here’s what you said when you signed the law.”

In a video, Abbott said, “Goal number one in the state of Texas is to eliminate rape so that no woman, no person will be a victim of rape.”

Wallace said, “In 2019, which is the last year that we have numbers for, almost 15,000 cases of rape were reported in your state of Texas. And almost everyone says that’s a severe undercount. There are a lot more cases that just aren’t reported. 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'”

Abbott replied, “Obviously is that survivors of sexual assault — they deserve support, care, and compassion, and Texas is stepping up to make sure that we provide that by signing a law and creating in the Governor’s office of sexual assault survivors task force. Separately from that, I got to point out about the ways that I have fought to go to arrest and apprehend and try to eliminate rape. I sought the death penalty.”

Wallace interrupted, “Governor, excuse me. There were more than 15,000 rapes in 2019 when you were Governor. Let me just ask this question. A state representative, Republican state representative, says that he’s going to 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, will you sign it or not?”

Abbott said, “We’ve got to go back to the reason the law was passed in the first place. The goal is to protect the lives of every child with a heartbeat.”

Wallace said, “Including the child of a rape?”

Abbott said, “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 safety of both the mother and the child. Texas just provided millions of dollars in funding for pregnancy centers across the state to help those who want to make sure they will be able to carry the child.”

Wallace said. “Are you saying, sir, I don’t mean to interrupt, but are you saying that you will not sign an exception for rape and incest?”

Abbott replied, “You’re making a hypothetical that’s not going to happen because that bill is not going to reach my desk.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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