Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made a bold promise when he signed a near-total ban on abortion that did not make an exception for rape or incest: he would eliminate rape so it would not be an issue.
Three months later, it is clear that Abbott failed to eliminate rape, as was widely predicted at the time he made his promise to "work tirelessly to make sure that we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas."
"It was, on its face, an absurd promise, and one that was predictably ridiculed by observers across the political spectrum," Rolling Stone reports. "But Abbott has now had three months to deliver on his pledge, or show a modicum of progress toward the stated goal, or, alternatively, to demonstrate some small degree of humanity by working to amend a law that appears poised to remain in effect for the foreseeable future. He’s failed at all three.
In reality, less than one-quarter of rapes in the state is resulting in prosecution.
"In the first three months after Texas enacted its abortion ban, 3,079 rapes were reported across the state, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. A total of 615 those rapes — 22 percent, or a little more than one fifth of the total reported — were “cleared” by authorities, meaning prosecutors brought charges," the magazine explained. "From small-town Texas to the state’s most sprawling metropolises the picture is the same: rapes are being reported at similar rates, and rapists are evading prosecution at roughly the same rate. The difference is that, since September, rape victims in Texas have been largely stripped of the ability to end a pregnancy that may have occurred as a result of their attack."
It is not just rape victims who are suffering under SB 8, which the Supreme Court has repeatedly refused to block. The same is happening with victims of incest.
"The same is true for victims of incest. (Like rape, S.B. 8 makes no exceptions for their circumstances.) Of 15,989 sexual assaults reported in Texas so far this year, 5,703 — more than one-third — were committed by a family member, roughly the same volume and rate of sexual assaults reportedly perpetrated by family members in 2020. Unlike last year, the children and adults who become pregnant as a result of those assaults will only be able to avoid carrying those pregnancies to term if they are able to find a provider and book an appointment within two weeks of discovering their pregnancy," the magazine noted.
Read the full report.