Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has slammed Texas Governor Greg Abbott over the state’s strict new abortion law, but drew mockery of her own for using the phrase ‘menstruating persons.’
The progressive New York Democrat spoke out in an interview with CNN on Tuesday, slamming Abbott as ignorant of reproductive science but appearing to trip over her own phrasing.
‘I don’t know if he is familiar with a menstruating person’s body. In fact, I do know that he’s not familiar with a woman — with a female or menstruating person’s body,’ said Ocasio-Cortez.
The term ‘menstruating person’ is intended to be inclusive of transgender and non-binary people who still have periods.
But critics – including Harry Potter author JK Rowling – say using the phrase it erases the experience of women.
Abbott, who has been married to his wife Cecilia for 40 years and has an adopted daughter, signed the new law which exposes abortion providers to financial penalties if they perform abortions beyond six weeks of pregnancy.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (right) has slammed Texas Governor Greg Abbott in a CNN interview on Tuesday, saying he is not ‘familiar with a menstruating person’s body’
Abbott signed the new law which exposes abortion providers to financial penalties if they perform abortions beyond six weeks of pregnancy.
Abbott has been married to his wife Cecilia for 40 years and has an adopted daughter
Ocasio-Cortez pointed out that the six week timeline would only give most women two weeks after their first missed period to confirm the pregnancy and seek an abortion.
‘I’m sorry we have to break down Biology 101 on national television, but in case no one has informed him before in our life — in his life, six weeks pregnant means two weeks late for your period,’ the congresswoman said.
‘Two weeks late on your period for any person, any person with a menstrual cycle can happen if you’re stressed, if your diet changes or for really no reason at all. So you don’t have six weeks,’ she added.
‘What this is about is controlling women’s bodies and controlling people who are not gender men,’ Ocasio-Cortez said.
‘Someone like me who is a woman, or any menstruating person in this country, cannot make decisions over their own body and Governor Abbott and [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch Mcconnell want to have more control over a woman’s body than that woman or that person has over themselves,’ she added.
Ocasio-Cortez’s use of the phrase ‘menstruating person’, which is intended to include people who do not identify as women but still have periods, drew mockery from her critics.
‘HAHAHAHA. AOC just tripped over the lingo for a “menstruating woman” with on CNN. Jumped from woman to female to person,’ tweeted conservative radio host Erick Erickson.
‘AOC refers to WOMEN as “menstruating people” in this clip over and over. And in the next breath she apologizes for having to “break down Biology 101 on national television” for Gov. Greg Abbott,’ another person tweeted.
Another critic remarked: ‘”or any menstruating person in this country…” AOC, because, as we know, men can menstruate…’
The new law provides medical exemptions to save the life of the mother, but does not provide exemptions for rape or incest, a stance Abbott defended when a reporter asked why the state would ‘force’ victims of heinous sex crimes like rape and incest to give birth.
‘It doesn’t require that at all, because obviously it provides at least six weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion, so for one it doesn’t provide that,’ Abbott replied.
‘That said, however, let’s make something very clear – rape is a crime , and Texas will work tirelessly to make sure that we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas.’
In her interview, Ocasio-Cortez slammed Abbott’s vow to ‘eliminate all rapists,’ saying ‘the majority of people who are raped and who are sexually assaulted are assaulted by someone that they know.’
The congresswoman said that many rape victims ‘don’t want to report a family friend to a police precinct let alone in the immediate aftermath of the trauma of a sexual assault.’
Ocasio-Cortez said that the new Texas law was the product of ‘rape culture and misogynistic culture.’
The law, known as the ‘Texas Heartbeat Act’, bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is normally after six weeks and before many women even know they are pregnant.
Texas Gov Greg Abbott shows off Senate Bill 1, also known as the election integrity bill, after he signed it into law in Tyler, Texas on Tuesday
Anti-abortion groups are blasting President Joe Biden and his Justice Department after it announced on Monday it would use a 1994 law to try and counter the Heartbeat Act, which would eliminate roughly 85 percent of abortions throughout the state.
‘President Biden and his administration needs to quit trying to facilitate the killing of unborn babies. Instead, President Biden, AG Garland, and this administration should be doing everything they can to protect life and not destroy it,’ National Right to Life’s Director of Communications Laura Echevarria told DailyMail.com Tuesday.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said yesterday the DOJ would ‘protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services’ under a federal law known as the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.
Garland said in a statement that federal prosecutors are still urgently exploring options to challenge the Texas law.
‘The department will provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack,’ the attorney general pledged. ‘We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services.’
Anti-abortion group Live Action President Lila Rose told Fox News, ‘The Justice Department should be focused on protecting our basic rights, including our right to life, not on acting as the abortion industry’s personal attorneys before a relevant lawsuit is even in process.’
The federal law, commonly known as the FACE Act, prohibits physically obstructing or using the threat of force to intimidate or interfere with a person seeking reproductive health services.
The law also prohibits damaging property at abortion clinics and other reproductive health centers.
‘The department will provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack,’ Garland said.