JACKSON, Miss. (NewsNation Now) — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves says he supports the Supreme Court’s decision to take up a case over his state’s abortion restrictions.
The law bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The case represents the court weighing in on banning abortions at a point where the fetus can’t survive outside the body. The Supreme Court had previously turned down state appeals over pre-viability abortion bans.
“And the fact is that the Roe versus Wade was decided in 1973. And so that was almost 50 years ago. And so while the court has obviously changed in the last three years, and what has also changed since 1973, is the science. The science has changed. And the reason that it has, is because we now understand, and we now have a much better understanding of the development of critical organs within unborn babies,” said Reeves.
Mississippi is not asking the court to overrule the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision confirming a woman’s right to an abortion, or a decision 19 years later that reaffirmed it.
“And so the reality is that I believe very strongly in pro-life issues. And I believe that this is the time to look at today’s science and look at what we know now about the formation of unborn children. And hopefully, the court will recognize that it is time to review that,” said Reeves.
The governor added that Congress has had decades since Roe v. Wade was decided to pass an amendment codifying the Supreme Court case’s decision to legalize abortions and it has not done so.
Even if the court does not explicitly overrule earlier cases, a decision favorable to the state could lay the groundwork for allowing even more restrictions on abortion, including state bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected — as early as six weeks.
“We had legislation this year within the Mississippi legislature that would have expanded care for those pregnant mothers and we’re going to continue to work towards that,” said Reeves. “But we also have to understand that not only should we work very hard to protect the mother, we also have to work very hard to protect that unborn baby because that is something that is critically important.”
More than 90% of abortions take place in the first 13 weeks of a woman’s pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When asked about his decision to opt-out of the $300 federal unemployment payment program, he said it was necessary because of the current struggles employers have had hiring workers.
“And while I supported the expansion of unemployment benefits, nearing the height of the pandemic, back in March and April and even May of 2020. I was a strong supporter of it, but the fact is on the ground in 2021 in May is very different than what it looked like in May of 2020. We need to get our people back to work if we’re going to have a full economic recovery,” said Reeves.
Twenty-two states have so far changed their requirements or no longer opt-in to federal pandemic-related assistance programs.
When asked about the criticism raised by some that the lack of willing workers comes down to the wages at these jobs. Reeves stated he supported raising the minimum wage.
“Well, the Liberal Democrats are going to argue that particular point repeatedly because they believe that the more government benefits, the better. We believe that there is a lot of value in work,” said Reeves. “And certainly the federal minimum wage is something that the Congress decides not our states, but it’s certainly something I think we can look at in terms of seeing an increase in the minimum wage. But the fact is, if we’re going to see a full economic recovery in Mississippi, we’d need our people to get back to work.”
Watch the full interview in the player above