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Gov. Abbott said Texas would work to rid the state of rapists while talking about its abortion law.
The state's new "heartbeat" abortion ban has no exceptions for rape or incest.
The law deputizes private citizens to bring lawsuits against abortion providers.
Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas said in a press conference on Tuesday that the state's new abortion law would not force a rape victim to carry their assailant's child to term. To achieve this, the governor pledged to "eliminate all rapists" in Texas, the local NBC affiliate KXAN reported.
"Let's make something very clear: Rape is a crime," Abbott said while signing a major GOP election-reform bill. "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."
He added: "So goal No. 1 in the state of Texas is to eliminate rape so that no woman, no person, will be a victim of it." The governor also said Texas had numerous organizations that support rape victims.
The new law, which went into effect on September 1, prohibits people in Texas from having an abortion after a fetal "heartbeat" can be detected on an ultrasound. Doctors told NPR the term "fetal heartbeat" was misleading because it refers to electrical activity, rather than the opening and closing of the heart's valves. The law allows no exceptions for rape or incest.
That activity can be detected at about six weeks of pregnancy, which is earlier than when many people know they are pregnant, despite Abbott's claim in the same press conference that the bill provides rape victims "at least six weeks" to receive an abortion.
The law is the first "heartbeat" or six-week abortion ban enacted since Roe v. Wade, largely thanks to its unusual enforcement mechanism.
Most bills passed in GOP state legislatures task state officials with enforcing the prohibition of abortions after a certain point. But Texas' law deputizes private citizens to bring civil lawsuits against abortion providers and those who "aid or abet" abortion procedures, and it enables those plaintiffs to earn damages of $10,000.
After the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals canceled a trial court hearing where a federal judge was poised to consider temporarily blocking enforcement of the law in response to a lawsuit from abortion providers including Whole Woman's Health, the plaintiffs appealed to the US Supreme Court.
The high court declined to temporarily enjoin the law by a vote of 5-4, sending the proceedings back to the lower courts and leaving providers unable to perform abortions.
Read the original article on Business Insider