Gov. Tate Reeves looks ahead to ‘post-Roe Mississippi’ by expanding health care, adoption services

Gov. Tate Reeves looks ahead to 'post-Roe Mississippi' by expanding health care, adoption services

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Sunday his state has already begun working on improving its health care, foster care and adoption services ahead of what he described as a world without the Roe v. Wade decision.

“We have started doing the hard work of what a post-Roe Mississippi will look like,” Mr. Reeves said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The 2018 Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks’ gestation lies at the heart of Monday’s leaked Supreme Court draft opinion showing that a majority of justices support overturning Roe, the 1973 decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion.

If the opinion stands, “we must understand that while this is a great victory for the pro-life movement, it is not the end,” said the Republican governor.

“In fact, it is just the beginning,” he said. “And the beginning is we must show that being pro-life is not just about being anti-abortion.”

Last month, he signed a $3.5 million tax credit for businesses and individuals who donate to the state’s 37 pro-life pregnancy centers, as well as legislation to provide college tuition for foster children and improve the state’s adoption services.

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“We’re trying to provide those potential expectant mothers the resources that they need so that they can go to a full term of pregnancy,” said Mr. Reeves. “If they choose to keep that child, then that’s a great outcome. We want to make sure that we provide them the resources that they need.”

At the same time, “if they choose not to, we want to make sure that we have plans in place to protect those babies once they’re born.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Democrat, was not a fan, calling his comments “paternalistic” and arguing that “he doesn’t look at women as full citizens.”

“He’s taken away their right to make these fundamental decisions about when they’re having children, under what circumstances they’re having children, how many children they’re having, at what point in their life they’re having children,” said Ms. Gillibrand.

Democrats have seized on the issue as they seek to whip up their base ahead of the November election, accusing Republicans of wanting to go further by outlawing birth control and reversing same-sex marriage.

“I don’t think there’s a good outcome but there’s a better outcome as far as this is concerned,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “Let’s just be prayerful about this. This is about respect for privacy. What’s next? What’s next? Marriage equality? What’s next? Contraception?”

Mr. Reeves shrugged off a question about whether he would seek to ban certain birth-control methods such as the IUD.

“That is not what we’re focused on at this time,” he said.

The Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in its 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, but Mr. Reeves drew distinctions between the cases.

“Number one, the fact that is, when you’re dealing with abortion, unlike the other cases that you talk about, abortion involves not only the mother and that particular life, but it also involves the life of an unborn American child, an unborn American child that doesn’t have the ability to speak for themselves,” Mr. Reeves said.

A final decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is expected as early as next month.

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