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‘Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided’ says Gov. Reeves

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abortion protestors
James McNellis from Washington, DC, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Tate Reeves appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday and spoke with host Chuck Todd regarding vaccine mandates and the historic case set before the Supreme Court this week that could overturn or limit Roe v. Wade.

Reeves maintained his long-held stance that vaccines should be encouraged, not mandated.

“I’ve encouraged vaccines from the beginning. I actually took my shots on Facebook Live, and I don’t like shots very much, Chuck,” Reeves said. “But that was my way in which of telling the people of Mississippi that, ‘I think this is the best way for you to protect yourselves.’ But I also believe in individual liberties, and I believe in freedoms, and I believe individuals can make their own decision, what’s best for them, after they talk to their physician.”

Similar language is often used in abortion rights debates.  Chuck Todd asked the governor how those principals of individual liberty and freedom applied to restricting access to abortions in Mississippi.

“The far left loves to scream, “My body, my choice.” And what I would submit to you, Chuck, is they absolutely ignore the fact that in getting an abortion there is an actual killing of an innocent, unborn child that is in that womb,” Gov. Reeves said.

In March 2018 then-Governor Phil Bryant signed into law a ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Within hours, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and a federal court granted emergency relief the next day, blocking enforcement of the ban. In November of 2018, the ban was struck down by the court, which concluded that “the State chose to pass a law it knew was unconstitutional to endorse a decades long campaign, fueled by national interest groups, to ask the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

In 2019, the Center also filed a challenge to an even more severe abortion ban passed by the Mississippi Legislature, which would ban the procedure as early as 6 weeks.

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization marks the first time the Court will rule on the constitutionality of a pre-viability abortion ban since Roe. The Court’s ruling in Roe recognized that the decision whether to continue a pregnancy or have an abortion, which impacts a person’s body, health, family and future, belongs to the individual, not the government.

Gov. Reeves tweeted that he is proud to defend Mississippi’s pro-life laws and “especially an innocent baby’s right to live”.

Advocates for a right to choose flooded the comments, many pointing to the state’s deficiencies in health care, education, food security and other social services that impact babies once they are born.

Others spoke of the mother’s right to freedom, health, and even life in a country where no other forms of bodily life-support are required by law, and in a state with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the nation.

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