Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves Confirms Pregnant People in His State Are Shit Out of Luck

Over the weekend, Mississippi governor Tate Reeves did the morning-show rounds to discuss the likely overturning of Roe v. Wade. Reeves, you see, is eminently qualified to comment on the expected eradication of pregnant people’s rights, given that (1) it is a Mississippi case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, that will reverse nearly 50 years of precedent if the draft opinion is anything to go on and (2) Mississippi is one of 13 states with a trigger law on the books that would immediately go into effect essentially outlawing abortions. So what will the very near future look like for Mississippi women—and the children they’ll be forced to give birth to, assuming said children don’t have some kind of fetal abnormality literally preventing them from living outside the womb? Reeves did his best to dance around the extra-bad stuff, but the answer is clear: not good! In fact, awful, horrific, and the stuff of nightmares.

For starters, there‘s the fact that Mississippi’s specific trigger law does not allow for exceptions in the case of incest. Asked why by CNN’s Jake Tapper, Reeves rather glibly responded, “Well, that’s going to be the law because in 2007 the Mississippi legislature passed it.”

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Pressed by Tapper, who asked, “Why is it acceptable to force girls who are victims of incest to carry those children to term?” Reeves tried to move the focus away from the horrible situation Mississippi would be putting these victims in, saying, “Well, as you know, Jake, over 92% of all abortions in America are elective procedures.” He then added that apparently there’s no need to be concerned about taking away the rights of incest victims because, “When you look at the number of those [abortions] that actually involve incest, it’s less than 1%.” Asked by Tapper about cases in which “a fetus that has serious or fatal abnormalities that will not allow that fetus to live outside the womb,” and if “the state of Mississippi [is] going to force those girls and women who have this tragedy inside them to carry the child to term,” Reeves again tried to downplay the situation, saying, “Well, Jake, I will tell you, I think that these questions illustrate exactly what we have been talking about, and that is, you’re dealing in examples that are rare and are a very small percentage of the overall abortions.” Again, he had no answer re: the inhumanity of forcing people to give birth to a child that has no actual chance of surviving.

As for the children who may be able to survive but whose mothers do not have the means to provide for them, Reeves suggested that the state will take care of those kids, despite lawmakers in Mississippi having an abysmal track record in equipping the state to do so. “Well, look, as I have told you before, and I will tell you again,” he said, “the reality is that, when I got elected governor, my very first speech in my inaugural address, I was very clear that I believe in my heart that I was elected not to try to hide our problems, but to try to fix our problems.“ As Tapper noted, Mississippi has the highest rate of infant mortality in the country and the highest rate of child poverty in the country, its legislature recently rejected a bid to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage, and its “foster care system is also the subject of a long-running federal lawsuit over its failure to protect children from abuse.”

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