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Texas, national politicians criticize Abbott's plan to 'eliminate rape' in wake of new abortion law

Gov. Greg Abbott drew criticism from saying he will "eliminate rape" in the wake of new abortion restrictions. (YouTube)

At a signing for Texas' newest voting laws Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott offered an ambitious—and perplexing—statement: in response to concerns that the state's newest abortion law would ban rape and incest victims from having access to abortions past six weeks, Abbott said he and the state would work to "eliminate rape."

"Let's make one thing clear: rape is a crime, and Texas will work tirelessly to make sure that we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas by aggressively arresting them and prosecuting them," Abbott said.

The statement has drawn ire from many state and national politicians, including the Biden administration. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki criticized Abbott's confidence in eliminating rapes in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

"There has never in the history of the country in the world, been any leader who's ever been able to eliminate rape, eliminate rapists from our streets," Psaki said.

National and local politicians, including U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez and Austin Mayor Steve Adler, took to national news outlets to express their disapproval of the governor's comments.

Ocasia-Cortez said on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360°" Tuesday that the statement is illogical and unrealistic to both rape and incest victims and women who may often experience periods that are two weeks late.

"I find Gov. Abbott's comments disgusting," Ocasio-Cortez said on the talk show. "The majority of people who are raped are assaulted by someone that they know," Ocasio-Cortez said. "These aren't just predators that are walking around the streets at night."

The bill also puts the power of enforcement in the hands of the people. Those who sue a clinic provider or someone who helps a woman obtain an illegal abortion could be awarded $10,000 or more in court.

Adler, who also took to MSNBC's "The Reid Out" on Tuesday night, criticized both the law's rape policies and its allowance of "private vigilantes."

"Watching the governor today talk about how his answer to eliminate rape is outrageous... it is just getting more and more surreal down here in Texas, almost by the minute," Adler said. "Already, we have women fleeing the state."

Other Texas politicians were critical of Abbott's rape elimination plan, including State Rep. Gene Wu (D-Houston).

Some defended Abbott's remarks, however, including Texas Republican Party Vice Chair Cat Parks, who said any governor should work to end rape in their state.

But the move could prove fatal for Abbott's plans for reelection in 2022 and could even curb Texas' rapid growth. According to a Texas Politics Project poll in August 2021, 50% of surveyed voters disapprove of Abbott's actions and 41% approve, his lowest-ever in office. According to the poll, 52% of Texans say the state is moving in the wrong direction, the lowest since the poll's inception in 2008.

The low ratings come as other controversial bills including permitless carry, voting reform and banning of "critical race theory" in Texas schools continue to divide residents. Some, including Democratic Lieutenant Governor candidate Joe Jaworski, say this could be the nail in the coffin for Abbott.


Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation

🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway