Abbott Strategist Matt Mackowiak: Rape and Incest Are “Minor Issues”

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This weekend, Matt Mackowiak, a political strategist for Attorney General Greg Abbott, appeared on Lone Star Politics to defend Abbott’s extremely conservative stance on abortion.

When asked whether the victims of rape and incest should be forced to carry a pregnancy that resulted from an assault, Mackowiak claimed that cases of sexual violence are “minor issues” that don’t deserve attention because “Texas is a strong pro-life state.”

Yes, a “minority” of women experience sexual assault—but that doesn’t make assault a “minor” issue. Those women, like all women, should be allowed to exercise their constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy.

In a statement, Yvonne Gutierrez, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, said, “No survivor of rape or incest would call their experience a ‘minor issue.’ This is exactly why politicians should not be allowed to dictate their personal opinions upon women’s decisions and lives. And this is why Greg Abbott’s campaign and policies present a serious threat to the safety of Texas women.”

The assumption that sexual violence is rare and thus unimportant is dangerous and frankly incorrect. By some estimates, one in three women are raped, beaten, abused, or coerced into sex during her lifetime.

Additionally, women who have survived rape and incest often take longer to seek healthcare services for their pregnancies because they are frightened or in denial.

Those facts are not easy to ignore, unless you believe that horrific crimes against women are simply “minor issues.”

I’m sure no one is surprised to discover that Mackowiak has a history of making offensive comments about women’s rights. Less than three weeks ago, after Wendy Davis went public about her heartwrenching decision to terminate a wanted pregnancy, he called her testimony a “subhuman instinct.”

“If Greg Abbott disagrees [with Mackowiak], he needs to denounce these comments immediately and explain to Texans why his extreme position making abortion illegal in the cases of rape and incest is a decision the government should be making,” Wendy Davis’ communication director, Zac Petkanas, said in a statement.

Natalie tweets from @nsanluis.

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About Author

Natalie San Luis

Natalie is a native Texan, a feminist, and a writer, focusing on reproductive justice, race, and pop culture. When she's not writing (and sometimes when she is), she's brewing beer, drinking beer, and reading stuff on the Internet. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, xoJane, The Billfold, Culturemap, and E3W Review of Books. She tweets from @nsanluis.

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