The new Miss USA R'Bonney Gabriel is speaking out about abortion laws in her home state of Texas.
Texas banned abortion except to save the mother's life after Roe v. Wade was overturned.
Gabriel told Insider she was extremely disappointed and thinks abortion should be a woman's choice.
Miss Texas R'Bonney Gabriel was crowned the new Miss USA on Monday night, and will represent the US during the Miss Universe pageant in January.
Gabriel sat down with Insider on the first day of her reign, and was candid about the political debates that continue to rage in America — including her home state.
Gabriel told Insider that "as a woman, and as a Texan, it was extremely disappointing" to see the new ban go into effect after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.
"I think, personally, with abortion there's so many different instances and situations in a woman's life where it could be appropriate, and other reasons why it's inappropriate," Gabriel said. "I think it's a case-by-case basis that's very personal to a woman's life in general."
"I personally believe that she should be able to make that decision on abortion, and not the government or anybody else," she added. "At the end of the day, I would want a woman to be able to have that decision. In Texas, even if its rape or incest, abortion is still illegal — and I disagree with that."
Gabriel also spoke about her state's gun laws following the Uvalde school shooting, in which 19 children and two adults were killed on May 24.
"That was extremely heartbreaking," Gabriel told Insider. "We don't want parents worrying if their kids are going to be victims of shootings."
"In Texas, and in our country, we can't completely abolish guns but I think we need to take steps to make everybody feel safer," she added. "In Texas, you don't need a concealed handgun license to carry a gun, and I strongly disagree with that."
Gabriel said she hopes to see more mental-health checks and red flag laws, which give authorities the power to temporarily confiscate a person's firearm if they pose an immediate threat to themselves or others.
"Guns are getting in the hands of wrong people, and people that need help," she added. "We need to check on our neighbors and, if we see something, speak up. I think we need to look out for each other more, and be more aware of our surroundings in that regard."
A day after the Uvalde school shooting, Governor Greg Abbott said the gunman had no known history of mental-health issues before blaming school shootings, in part, on mental-health issues. He added that more restrictive gun laws weren't a "real solution" to America's epidemic of mass shootings.
"One thing that has substantially changed is the status of mental health in our communities," he said during a press conference. "We, as a state, we, as a society, need to do a better job with mental health."
A month before the Uvalde shooting, Abbott cut $211 million from the Texas state department that oversees mental-health programs, NBC News reported. Texas also ranked last for overall access to mental-health care in State of Mental Health in America's 2021 report.
Read the original article on Insider