Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Sunday that he’d enforce a ban on abortion in his state if the long-standing Roe v. Wade decision is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Reeves reiterated his staunch support for his state’s current ban on abortions after 15 weeks on CNN’s “State of the Union,” arguing the time frame is “not at all radical” and suggesting he has “ some reason for optimism” that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
The two landmark decisions that Reeves brought up established the constitutional right to abortion in the U.S. This precedent could be in question as the Supreme Court considers Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case regarding Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban.
Asked by CNN host Jake Tapper if he would enforce the “almost total abortion ban in Mississippi that exists” if Roe were overturned, the Republican governor said he would.
“If you believe, as I believe very strongly, 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,” Reeves said. “And so, yes, I will do everything I can to protect the lives of those children.”
Reeves made the argument on Sunday, as he has many times in the past, that abortion is not a guaranteed right in the Constitution. He said Roe should be overturned and abortion laws should be left up to states, “the laboratories of democracy.”
Tapper pressed Reeves on Mississippi’s infant mortality rate, which is the highest in the country. And the governor responded that he acknowledged those statistics and is working to change them, also claiming that “when you look at that unborn baby in the womb, and you consider it a human being, it really changes your perspective on lots of different things.”
Appearing later on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) struck a similar tone, saying he’s “perfectly comfortable” with the concept of criminalizing abortion and that the issue should be decided at a state level.
“When it comes to issues like this that divide our country in a way to where we’re never going to get to 60 votes on any of this stuff, I think the practical solution is, when it’s not enumerated, return it to the states,” Braun said.