Fox News host Chris Wallace wasn’t about to let Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott get away without trying to get the extremist right-wing politician to defend his indefensible new abortion law when the governor appeared on his Fox News Sunday program this morning.
Abbott made the decision by the veteran TV journalist to corner him much easier by his risible declaration earlier this month that the recently passed bill’s failure to include exceptions to its ban on abortions after six weeks for those women subjected to pregnancies that resulted from rape or incest would be moot since he was going to “eliminate rape” in the state.
“Let’s make something very clear,” Abbott said back on Sept. 7. “Rape is a crime. And Texas will work tirelessly to make sure 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.”
Like any human with an ounce of common sense, Wallace was dubious about Abbott’s rapist-elimination claim and pressed the Texas governor by throwing some uncomfortable statistics into his face, namely that there were over 15,000 rapes reported in the state of Texas in 2019, a count that is likely far fewer than actually occurred since many rapes go unreported.
“Is it reasonable to say to somebody who was the victim of rape and might not understand that they are pregnant, you know, until six weeks, ‘Well, don’t worry about it because we are going to eliminate rape as a problem in the state of Texas?’” Wallace confronted Abbott.
The governor vainly attempted to defend his uncompromising stance.
“Well, there’s multiple things I have to say in answer to this but the first thing 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 a sexual assault survivors task force,” Abbott replied. “But separately from that, Chris, 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.”
While Texas rape victims currently carrying their attacker’s child without an option to terminate the unwanted pregnancy may find little solace in the fortune that the state is spending to form a survivors task force, they may at least find some irony in the fact that the supposed “Pro-Life” governor is fighting to end the lives of their rapists.
Chris Wallace interrupted the governor’s lame explanations by repeating the total number of rape victims yet again and asking Abbott whether he would sign a recently proposed state bill that would add exceptions for rape and incest victims to the newly passed law.
“If that came to your desk, will you sign it or not?” Wallace cornered Abbott.
Abbott tried to deflect the question by proclaiming that the new Texas abortion statute was designed to “protect the lives of every child with a heartbeat.”
“Including the child of a rape?!” Wallace quickly interjected.
The Texas governor tried to defend himself with the claim that the new law was “consistent” with the Supreme Court’s decision that “states have the ability to make sure that we protect the health and safety of both the mother and the child.”
Wallace continued to try to pin Abbott down.
“Just to lock this down, 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?” the Fox News host insisted that the governor clarify his reply.
“First, I’ve got to tell you, Chris, you’re making a hypothetical that’s not going to happen because that bill is not going to reach my desk,” the governor answered with a preternatural certainty. “But second, again, the goal is to protect the life of every child with a heartbeat,” he concluded, cruelly dismissing the rights of rape victims to decide for themselves whether to bear the offspring of their assailants.
With the Texas legislature firmly in the hands of Abbott’s Republican anti-choice co-conspirators, the governor is probably correct that a bill instituting exceptions to the draconian new abortion law would never garner enough votes to reach his desk.
It’s all the more reason that Democrats in Texas have to fight to regain control of the state government in the upcoming 2022 elections, a task that Abbott has likely made easier with both his war on women’s choice, his enormous failures in managing the COVID pandemic in his state, and his inept response to climate change issues like massive flooding and power outages caused by the resulting extreme weather this year.
You can watch Chris Wallace confront Texas Governor Greg Abbott in the video clip below.
CHRIS WALLACE: Is it reasonable to say to a rape victim who might not know they're pregnant until 6 weeks, 'don't worry about it, because we're going to eliminate rape'?
GREG ABBOTT: The goal is to protect the lives of every child with a heartbeat pic.twitter.com/o7rJ5G6JZF
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 26, 2021
Original reporting by Justin Baragona at The Daily Beast.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.