AOC falsely claims Texas law allows rapists to sue victims for abortion

Days before Politico reported that a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion indicates a majority intends to overturn Roe v. Wade, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., tweeted an alarming claim about rape victims in Texas.

Ocasio-Cortez was responding to right-wing politicians’ claim that “the far left is taking over.” To that, Ocasio-Cortez asked “WHERE” in all caps.

“In Texas, Republicans passed a law allowing rapists to sue their victims for having abortions,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

Texas has some of the strictest laws limiting access to abortion. As discussion and concern grow for Roe v. wade the landmark 1973 decision that established a right to abortionand what that means for Texas, let’s look at Ocasio-Cortez’s claim.

Texas law targets abortion providers

We contacted Ocasio-Cortez’s media office and campaign email addresses, but received no response.

She appears to refer to Senate Bill 8, which came into effect in September. The law prohibits abortion after six weeks of pregnancy and leaves enforcement to the public, allowing anyone to sue abortion providers or people who aid or abet illegal abortions. There are no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

But the law expressly prohibits a rapist from suing: “Notwithstanding any other law, a civil action under this section may not be brought by a person who impregnated the aborted patient by an act of rape, sexual assault, incest or any other prohibited act. by articles 22.011, 22.021 or 25.02. Penal Code.”

This provision is the only limit on who can bring an action under the law.

Additionally, Ocasio-Cortez claimed that a victim’s rapist could sue them. However, SB 8 allows people to sue suppliers and those who aid and abet someone who obtains a prohibited abortion, not the person seeking an abortion.

In other words, Seth Chandler, a law professor at the University of Houston, said the person seeking an abortion could not be prosecuted under this law, but anyone who helped them could.

“Now it is true that the defendant in an SB 8 action may need to prove that the plaintiff was not a rapist,” Chandler wrote in a follow-up email. “It’s not entirely clear (since there’s no case) who the burden of proof is. But to go from that to saying that Texas allows the rapist to sue seems like a duck.”

Our decision

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on April 29, “Republicans in Texas have passed a law allowing rapists to sue their victims for having abortions.”

The law specifically prohibits someone’s rapist from suing because he was looking for a Abortion. The law also allows actions against abortion providers, rather than against the patient, for procedures beyond six weeks gestation.

We rate this claim as false.


  • Tweet from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC), April 29, 2022
  • Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward, Politico, “Supreme Court Voted to Strike Down Abortion Rights, Draft Opinion”, May 2, 2022
  • SB 8 Bill Text, signed by the Governor of Texas on May 19, 2021

  • Austin Statesman Chuck Lindell, “How Texas’s Abortion Law, the Most Restrictive in the Nation, Got to This Point”, December 10, 2021
  • Phone interview with Seth Chandler, Law Foundation Professor of Law at the University of Houston, May 3, 2022
  • Email with Seth Chandler, May 4, 2022
  • Madlin Mekelburg, US statesman from Austin, “Does Texas Abortion Law Protect Victims of Sexual Assault?” September 27, 2021
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