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.
“Without any proof that the sexual assault occurred, in the sense of not having to file a police report or have a criminal prosecution for the assault, again, I suspect that pro-life forces are going to object to that on grounds that basically all that has to happen is for the woman to allege that the sex was nonconsensual and therefore constitutes an assault,” Chandler said. “And so I think when people get down to the nuts and bolts of trying to define these exceptions, there’s going to be quite a battle.”