Updated Sep 3, 2022 - Health

Victims of rape can take emergency contraception, Texas governor says

Greg Abbott, governor of Texas, speaks at a conference.

Greg Abbott, governor of Texas, speaks at a conference. Photo: Shelby Tauber/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said this week that Texans who are victims of rape can take emergency contraception, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Why it matters: Abbott's comments come as Texas has enacted an abortion ban that makes no allowances for incest or rape victims. However, access to contraceptives and the pill known as Plan B remain legal.

What he said: “We want to support those victims, but also those victims can access health care immediately, as well as to report it,” Abbott said in a segment that will play Sunday on "Lone Star Politics," per the Dallas Morning News.

  • “By accessing health care immediately, they can get the Plan B pill that can prevent a pregnancy from occurring in the first place. With regard to reporting it to law enforcement, that will ensure that the rapist will be arrested and prosecuted.”

State of play: Texas' abortion law — the 2021 Heartbeat Act — currently does not have exceptions for rape and incest.

  • The law urges individuals to sue anyone who assists others with abortion, Axios' Michael Mooney writes. It also makes performing an abortion a felony with a $100,000 fine and prison sentence.
  • Last year, Abbott signed a bill into law that prevented physicians and providers from distributing abortion-inducing drugs after the seven-week mark of the pregnancy, Axios' Erin Doherty writes.

Worth noting: A majority of Texas voters do not support a complete ban on abortions, according to 2022 polling from the Texas Politics Project at UT.

Go deeper: Advocacy group wants to expand Texas abortion law

Editor's note: A previous version of this story classified Plan B and contraceptives as illegal under Texas' abortion law. This has been corrected.

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