Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said this week that rape victims in his state can take Plan B, a pregnancy-preventing emergency contraceptive known as a “morning-after pill.”
“We want to support those victims, but also those victims can access health care immediately, as well as to report it,” Abbott said in a pre-recorded interview with KXAS-TV and The Dallas Morning News slated to air on Sunday, the newspaper reported.
“By accessing health care immediately, they can get the Plan B pill that can prevent a pregnancy from occurring in the first place. With regard to reporting it to law enforcement, that will ensure that the rapist will be arrested and prosecuted,” Abbott added, according to the Morning News.
CNN has reached out to Abbott’s office for comment.
Texas’ abortion trigger-law, which passed in 2021 in anticipation of the repeal of Roe v. Wade, went into effect last month, putting in place new criminal penalties for abortion and offering an exemption only for certain health emergencies.
The Lone Star State bars abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy, which is one of the strictest in the nation and prohibits abortion before many people know they are pregnant. Under the Texas law, abortion is prohibited when a fetal heartbeat is detected.
In developed countries where abortion is legal, none have set a gestation limit as early as six weeks, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights, which campaigns for improved access to abortion.
The US Food and Drug Administration approved Plan B in 1999. The key ingredient in the pill is a synthetic hormone called levonorgestrel. This drug stops an egg from being released from the ovary or preventing fertilization of the egg by sperm.
If there has been fertilization, Plan B may prevent a fertilized egg from embedding in the uterus. But if the egg has already been implanted in the uterus, the morning-after pill will not work.
Emergency contraceptives are intended for use within 72 hours after sex but are most effective if taken within 24 hours.