Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves confirmed Sunday that his state will enforce a law that bars most abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court days after the court held a hearing on the state’s 15-week abortion ban.
When asked during a CNN appearance about whether the law would be enforced if Roe v. Wade is overturned, “That is a yes,” Reeves said, “because if you believe as I believe very strongly that that innocent, unborn child in the mother’s womb is in fact a child, the most important word when we talk about unborn children is not unborn, but it’s children.”
“I’ll do everything I can to protect the lives of those children,” he added, saying that since the high court’s abortion decision was handed down nearly 50 years ago, data shows that 62 million American babies have been killed via the process.
During the interview Sunday, Reeves also argued, like he’s done in the past, that abortion is not a constitutionally guaranteed right.
“Clearly it is dependent upon how the court rules and exactly what those opinions allow us to do. If in fact Roe is overturned—and by the way, I believe very strongly, as do many Americans, that the justices on the Supreme Court today could look at the Roe v. Wade case and come to the conclusion that the court just simply got it wrong in 1973,” Reeves told CNN.
Roe v. Wade was a landmark 1973 Supreme Court that states’ regulation of abortion with a “compelling state interest” is unconstitutional, striking down numerous federal and state abortion laws. In a majority opinion written by former Justice Harry A. Blackmun, the Supreme Court held that a set of Texas laws that criminalized abortion in most cases violated a woman’s right to privacy.
Former Justices Byron White and William Rehnquist dissented from the Court’s decision, with White arguing that he found “nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment” and with the Roe v. Wade decision, the Supreme Court embarked on an “improvident and extravagant exercise of the power.”
But the Republican governor noted that should Roe v. Wade get overturned, it “doesn’t mean that no one in America is going to have access—although that might make people like me happy—but, what it does mean is that all 50 states, the laboratories of democracy, are going to have the ability to enact their own laws with respect to abortion.”
According to Reeves, as he heard the Supreme Court arguments last week and judging from the justices’ line of questioning, he believes the pro-life movement will be given a major win when the Supreme Court issues its ruling on the Mississippi case.
“This has been a watershed moment in American history over the last week, as this case that many of us in the pro-life movement have hoped would come before the court for many years,” the governor told CNN. “Clearly, the questioning by a number of the justices led many people across America and particularly journalists who opine that they were looking very favorably on upholding the case, the Dobbs case, the Mississippi case, and that’s certainly a favorable outcome for us.”