During a press conference Tuesday, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott defended his state’s controversial new abortion law and misleadingly suggested it contains protections for victims of rape or incest.
Regarding the bill, a reporter asked, “Why force a rape or incest victim to carry a pregnancy to term?” to which Abbott responded, “It doesn’t require that at all, because obviously it provides at least 6 weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion.”
Facts First: Abbott’s response is misleading, at best. The law’s stipulation banning abortions after six weeks does not necessarily mean six weeks from the incident, in the case of rape or incest victims. Doctors date pregnancies from the first day of the individual’s last menstrual cycle not from ovulation or “conception.” As a result, under the new Texas law, those seeking abortions have less than six weeks to do so.
Melaney Linton, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast which operates six centers in the Greater Houston area, said in a statement, “Governor Abbott’s remarks prove once again why politicians with no basic understanding of reproductive health have no business legislating on these critical issues.
Jennifer Kerns, associate professor at University of California San Francisco and an OB-GYN, told CNN, “Saying that someone has six weeks to