As written, the bill would not require a pregnant person to file a police report or provide forensic evidence. Alvarado said it’s because many women don’t report abuse in the first place. But since no record would be required to obtain an abortion, anti-abortion advocates see this as a way to create a loophole so any woman could have the procedure.
“Women could claim rape or assault or incest where, in fact, that has not happened. And it creates a potential loophole in an exception that we don’t support that would allow women to lie to receive abortions. We would hope that no woman would do that, but it does leave that door open,” said Amy O’Donnell, the director of communications for Texas Alliance for Life.
Seth Chandler, a law professor at the University of Houston, said this is where the legal waters get murky.
nti-abortion advocates don’t want to see a sexual assault exemption added to the abortion law.
“We believe that it’s wrong to discriminate against anyone based on how they came into being. And even with that beginning story, that child is still deserving of life, and so we will not support that,” O’Donnell said.
Even though most abortions are illegal in Texas, Hagstrom Miller stressed that there’s still a big need for it.
“Just because you ban abortion, it doesn’t change the need for abortion,” she said. “An abortion ban doesn’t prevent people from still needing abortions in the state of Texas. It just prevents people from getting that care from trained medical professionals. And I think that’s what we have to remember as we try to assist people in our communities that really need access to the safe, essential medical care that is abortion.”
Some Republicans have said there might need to be an exception to the abortion law for sexual assault, but it’s unlikely that abortion will become legal again next year.