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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, stressed Sunday that the pro-life movement is shifting toward a “culture of life,” as his state attorney general is set to defend its trigger law banning most abortions except to save a mother’s life following the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Reeves told Fox News host Mike Emmanuel that he plans to enforce the state’s trigger law despite a new lawsuit from the state’s only abortion clinic.
“The fact of the matter is this entire court battle was never about winning a court case. It was always about creating a culture of life,” Reeves said, explaining the need to develop more support for expectant mother and babies. “That’s exactly what we’re doing here in Mississippi, and that’s what we as pro-life Mississippians and pro-life Americans have to continue to do. We have to prove that being pro-life is not simply about being anti-abortion. And in our state, we’re enacting policies to do exactly that.”
Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch has already initiated steps to certify the state’s trigger law, which could go into effect after 10 days. But a legal challenge from Jackson Women’s Health Organization cites a state Supreme Court ruling from 1998 arguing that the state constitution’s privacy guarantees include an implied right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.
“Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which is the exact same organization that we were opposite in the Supreme Court case, then filed suit in state court,” Reeves said. “We are dealing with that, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has appointed a special judge to hear that case because the four chancellors in Hinds County, which is the court of jurisdiction recused themselves, and so we are expecting a hearing sometime early this week on that particular case but yes, I do expect for the state’s law to be upheld in the state court and I do expect our trigger law to go into effect.”
The governor said doctors could lose their licenses to practice in Mississippi if they’re found to be prescribing telemedicine abortion pills, but he assured that he had no reason to believe surveillance will be conducted on mail or phone calls of pregnant women.
“In our state, the enforcement is done by the State Board of Medical Licensure. We have a State Board of Medical Licensure here which actually oversees the practice of medicine in our state. And they ensure that any physician that is practicing, whether it’s through telemedicine or otherwise, that any physician that practices in our state is practicing not only based upon the standards of care that we require in our state, but also based upon state law,” Reeves explained. “And so, if a physician is attempting to practice medicine in the state of Mississippi, and they’re violating our law, then our State Board of Medical Licensure will pull their license from them.”
“Should doctors in other states be concerned about prosecution?” Emanuel asked.
“Well, certainly I think that doctors in other states should be concerned about all kinds of things, but I’m hopeful that in creating a culture of life in our state, by investing in pregnancy resource centers, the things that we are doing now to give the resources to mothers and babies that they need,” Reeves said, “which I think it’s incredibly important, that we’re going to convince those moms that yes, those lives are precious, and there are people in this world and there are people in the state of Mississippi who love not only the moms, but also the babies and we’re looking to do everything we can to help create a forever home for every single baby in Mississippi and we believe we will save lives by doing so.”
Reeves said he does not believe an exception for rape will make it through the Mississippi legislature or eventually to his desk, but stressed that a large majority of abortions in America are elective procedures.
“There’s a lot of effort, particularly in Washington and other places, mainly by the Democrats to try to talk only about the real, small, minor number of exceptions that may exist,” Reeves said. “As you know, over 90% of all abortions that are done in America, some 63 million babies lives aborted, since Roe was wrongly decided in 1973. Over 90% of those are elective abortions.”
“If the far left really believe what they want you to believe, if they really believe that the American people were with them and were for abortion on demand, then they wouldn’t be talking about all of these exceptions and minor numbers, they’d be talking about abortion itself,” he added.
Reeves also credited former President Donald Trump’s legacy for the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, signaling that he would support Trump in 2024 if he chooses to run again.
“There is no doubt in my mind that were it not for his conservative justices, and by the way, that campaign in 2016 was largely run on who had the ability to appoint Supreme Court justices,” he said. “And so therefore, I believe that President Trump’s legacy is going to be creating a Supreme Court that focuses on the Constitution. Now, he’s gonna have to decide whether or not he’s going to run for President and that’s a decision that only he can make. And then we’ll decide at that point.”
“But he certainly did a fantastic job as president and the fact of the matter is when you talk to Americans and people in small towns across Mississippi, the things like inflation are what people are worried about,” the governor added. “They’re not worried about this trial that’s being had by only one side in Washington, DC. They’re focused on the issues that matter to them and their pocketbooks. And Joe Biden’s inflation is really hurting everyday Mississippians.”