AUSTIN (KXAN) – United States Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized Texas Governor Abbott’s controversial comments on Tuesday about restrictive abortion laws recently enacted by the state.
Senate Bill 8, which became law on September 1, bans abortion procedures after six weeks of pregnancy, including rape and incest. It is the most restrictive abortion law in the United States and Abbott and the Texas legislature have faced stiff criticism for its passage.
Abbott rekindled the fire on Tuesday when asked if the new law would require a rape or incest victim to carry her baby to term.
Abbott responded that the law doesn’t because victims can have an abortion within the six-week time frame. While SB 8 allows abortion for up to six weeks, this period is usually even before most people realize they are pregnant.
“I find Governor Abbott’s comments disgusting,” Ocasio-Cortez told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Tuesday night. “I don’t know if he knows the body of someone who is menstruating. actually, I Know that he’s unfamiliar with the body of someone who is menstruating because if he was, he would like you not to be six weeks old.
“In case no one has informed him [Abbott] six weeks pregnant in her lifetime means two weeks late for your period. Two weeks late on your period, for anyone with a menstrual cycle, can happen if you’re stressed, if your diet changes, or for no real reason. So you don’t have six weeks.
Abbott also continued his explanation on Tuesday by saying that victims of rape and incest would not have to give birth because the state of Texas is working to “eliminate rape.”
“Let’s be clear: rape is a crime,” Abbott said. “And Texas will work around the clock to make sure we take all the rapists off the streets of Texas by aggressively getting out and stopping them and chasing them and getting them off the streets.”
The concept of “eliminating rape” has been widely criticized as being absurd and also impossible. Ocasio-Cortez said the comments also do not reflect the reality of who perpetrators of sexual assault typically are.
The New York Democrat went on to say:
“When he [Abbott] talks about going after rapists and the language he uses to “lure rapists to the streets” – the majority of people who are raped and sexually assaulted are assaulted by someone they know. It’s not just predators roaming the streets at night. They are people’s uncles, they are teachers, they are family friends.
New York Democrat Ocasio-Cortez also explained that the legal process of prosecuting a rapist can be long, unsuccessful and traumatic for victims. She said that although some victims choose to press charges, many do not want to perpetuate the trauma through litigation.
AOC, as it’s called, concluded by saying, “This is awful. And he [Abbott] speaks of such a place of deep ignorance and it is not just ignorance. It is ignorance that hurts people all over the country.
In addition to the procedural ban after six weeks, SB 8 allows individuals to sue for $ 10,000 or more against anyone who assists someone with an abortion after the specified period. Opponents of the bill say it will lead to widespread harassment, the representation of citizens against each other and a backlog of frivolous lawsuits.
Follow KXAN’s Russell Falcon on Twitter @RussellFalcon for more Texas abortion law updates.