Gov. Greg Abbott has staunchly defended the inadequacy of the rape exception in Texas abortion statutes. Twelve months later, useful resource agencies say those numbers are still too high.
AUSTIN, Texas — When Texas’ new abortion law makes no exceptions in the case of rape, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott defended it and pledged: Texas will work to eradicate rape.
Twelve months later, Lindsey LeBlanc is busy working for rape victims in a college town outside Houston.
“These numbers have been kept at exorbitant levels,” said LeBron, the government director of the Brian Sexual Assault Helpful Resource Center near Texas A&M College. Despite hiring two more counselors six months now, she still has a track record of patient readiness.
“We’re trying to meet the demand,” she said.
The routine case in Texas is another example of how Republicans are struggling to explicitly defend abortion bans that have been unpopular in public opinion polls, sparking uproar in high-profile situations, and in the mid-November period. Political danger in the election. At least a dozen states have enacted bans, including rape or incest, 12 months after the Texas statute went into effect in September 2021.
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The lack of exceptions has led to divisions among Republicans, including in West Virginia, where a brand new statute signed this month allows rape and incest victims a brief window of abortions, provided they report first to statute enforcement. Most recently, Republicans from South Carolina scuttled a deliberate ban after failing to get enough GOP help.
“It actually makes me sick,” said Sen. Katrina Healy, Republican of South Carolina, pulling her male senator colleague.
Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, also of South Carolina, allowed exceptions to the proposed national abortion ban he launched last week. The proposal has little chance of passing, as even GOP leaders won’t support it immediately, reflecting how Republicans across the board are grappling with how difficult it is to get an abortion with voters, as the U.S. Supreme Court’s Robinson this summer Iraq v. Wade lost the case.
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A vast majority of voters believe their state should generally allow abortion in certain circumstances, including rape, incest or when the health of a pregnant individual is at risk. Even Republicans see it as a line with some voters.
“It’s a very grey topic,” said Claudia Alcazar, the chairwoman of the Starr County Republican Party, which sits along the Texas-Mexico border. The county has turned into a new political battleground after Republicans made significant inroads with more conservative Hispanic voters in 2020.
She mentions that she knows people who are “hardcore, never aborted for any motive, interval. After that, other people will say, ‘Actually, it depends.'”
In Texas, as Abbott put it last September, setbacks came quickly: “Texas will work tirelessly to ensure we remove all rapists from the streets.” Critics called it unrealistic. A sexual assault hotline in Houston has received nearly 4,800 calls in the 12 months through August — more than the 4,843 calls in the past 12 months on monitoring.
Starting this summer, all abortions in Texas are banned until they can save a mother’s life.
When asked about Abbott’s work to eradicate rape over the past 12 months, speaker Renae Eze highlighted earlier actions to clear the backlog of rape testing kits, the June signing of Sexual Assault Helpful Resources Coordination and Expanding Invoices , and the Work Power 2019 thing his workplace launched.
“In order to stop such heinous crimes before they occur, and to prosecute all offenders to the maximum extent required, Governor Abbott has actively opposed police defunding and is leading bail reform efforts to prevent harmful criminals release,” Eze said in an article referring to the press release.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, more than 14,000 rapes have been reported in Texas since the regulations took effect in the last 12 months. That’s down slightly from the previous 12 months and is a drop in the number of different violent crimes statewide.
The number of rape victims accompanying lawyers to hospital checkups has risen again since pandemic restrictions barred lawyers from entering, the Texas response agency said. Fort Value Ladies’ Middle has made more than 650 visits in the past 12 months to counsel victims taking the course exam, up from about 340 visits 12 months ago, said Alisha Mathenia, the center’s deputy director of disaster companies. Say.
The vast majority of sexual assault incidents are not reported to the police, providing an incomplete picture of all accessible knowledge. According to the National Rape, Abuse and Incest Community, about 8 out of 10 sexual assaults are committed by a recognized victim to the victim.
“We’re not talking about a lot of rapists roaming the streets. It’s an illusion,” said Donna Howard, an Austin state counselor Democrat Donna Howard, who co-authored the invoice that created Abbott’s Work Power.
At the Safety Alliance in Austin, where sexual assault victims can get evaluations and medical care at their Eloise House, government director Juliana Gonzales mentioned that Texas’ commitment to rape prevention is admirable. “But I also think the country has to face the reality that we have to deal with sexual assault,” she said.
Texas abortion ban: Abbot’s vow to ‘eradicate rapists’ sounds hollow