- Rape survivor Lavinia Masters told CNN that Texas Gov. Abbott’s promise to “eliminate all rapists” in the state isn’t realistic.
- Masters was raped when she was 13 and her rape kit went untested for more than 20 years.
- Abbott had signed the Lavinia Masters Act, aimed at tackling the state’s backlog of rape kits, in 2019.
The namesake of a law aimed at speeding up Texas’ testing of rape kits criticized Gov. Greg Abbott’s promise to “eliminate all rapists from the streets” so women don’t have to worry about draconian new anti-abortion legislation.
“That would be a beautiful thing to see, but it’s not going to happen,” Lavinia Masters said Monday in an interview with CNN.
A Texas law known as SB8 took effect on September 1, greatly limiting people’s ability to obtain abortions in the state. The legislation bans abortions after the first six weeks of pregnancy, a time at which most people don’t yet realize they are pregnant, and does not include exceptions for rape or incest.
When Abbott was asked at a press conference last week why the state would force a rape victim to carry their pregnancy to term, he said the law allows at least six weeks for a rape victim to get an abortion, and added that Texas would “work tirelessly to eliminate all rapists from the streets.”
“That’s asinine,” Masters told CNN. “That makes absolutely no sense at all.”
Abbott had signed the Lavinia Masters Act into law in 2019. Masters was raped by a home intruder in 1995, when she was 13 years old, according to CNN. A rape kit associated with Masters’ case sat on shelves untested for more than 20 years, and by the time her kit was finally tested, she found out her assailant was already in prison for raping two other women.
“I didn’t know who he was and that child wants to know their father,” Masters told CNN while holding back tears. “They don’t know their background, they don’t know about their history, I don’t know about their illnesses or anything but I would be forced to carry that baby. That’s not even common sense.”
Abortion rights advocates have raised concern that SB8 will force women to leave Texas to obtain abortions. Insider reported that some immigrants were considering fleeing the state and returning to Mexico for the procedure, after the country decriminalized abortion on September 7.