On Tuesday, after signing one of the worst voter suppression laws in our country’s history, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott answered questions about another terrible blight on our democracy: the Lone Star State’s unconstitutional anti-abortion law. During a rambling and mostly incoherent statement, Abbott explained that sexual assault victims need not worry about the new law because he had a solution: the elimination of rape itself.
On Wednesday during the White House press briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the bill and Abbott’s strange comment. Psaki, who can only offer up statements and not actual policy, is doing her best in front of an administration that needs to be acting considerably more forcefully at this point. But her response was as quick and cutting as we have come to expect from this White House press secretary.
"If Texas Governor Abbott has a means to eliminate rape, I'm sure there will be bipartisan support for that. But given there has never been in the history of the country, in the world, any leader who's ever been able to eliminate rape, eliminate rapists from our streets, it's even more imperative—it's one of the many reasons I should say, not the only reason, why women in Texas should have access to health care."
Psaki went on to reiterate that the White House has not changed its position on the abhorrence of this new law and noted that the Department of Justice continues to look into their legal options.
You can also watch Daily Kos’ The Brief from this week, (or listen to it) where Atlantic writer and constitutional law consultant Elie Mystal gives his thoughts on the new Texas laws and what can be done.