Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said Sunday that if Roe v. Wade—the Supreme Court‘s landmark decision that guaranteed abortion rights nationwide—was overturned, he would enforce an almost complete ban on abortions that would automatically take effect in his state.
Reeves’ comments come as Roe‘s fate remains uncertain.
During an interview on CNN Sunday, host Jake Tapper asked Reeves about a law Mississippi has on the books that would automatically ban all abortions—except in cases of rape, or to save the life of the mother—if Roe v. Wade is struck down.
“If that happens, would you start enforcing that in your state— the almost complete ban, regardless of how many weeks of the pregnancy?” Tapper asked.
“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 said.
Reeves went on to say that in his opinion, there is no guaranteed right to an abortion in the Constitution. He added that if Roe is 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.”
Tapper then asked his question again.
“So is that a yes, that if Roe v. Wade is overturned, you will enforce the almost-total abortion ban in Mississippi that exists in the inevitability, or in the situation where Roe v. Wade is overturned?”
“Yeah Jake, that is a yes, 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 children is not unborn, but it’s children,” Reeves stated.
“And so yes, I will do everything I can to protect the lives of those children,” the governor said.
Several states have enacted “trigger laws” designed to take effect and implement near-total bans on abortion in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned, NPR reported.
In addition to Mississippi, the states include Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.
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