In an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" with host Jake Tapper, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) dismissed questions about the health of women after stating he would ban all abortions in his state if the conservative Supreme Court opens the door for him with a ruling expected next year.
With a Mississippi law on abortion under scrutiny by the court, Reeves was asked by host Tapper to consider the plight of women and their health after the Republican governor expressed a desire for a complete ban.
Addressing a total ban on abortions, Reeves told the host, "I believe, very strongly that an 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. Yes, I will do everything I can to protect the lives of those children."
"The country has been here before, before 1973," host Tapper lectured. "What happens in reality is, women of means are still able to get abortions. Poor women, young women, vulnerable women end up often seeking abortions in ways that can cause them severe harm, mutilation, if not death in some cases. Do you acknowledge that this step will result in some women almost seriously getting seriously hurt, some dying?"
"I certainly would hope that that would not be the case," Reeves parried. "What I would tell you, Jake, is that since Roe was enacted in 1973, there have been 62 million American babies that have been killed through this process. I think that those babies in their mother's womb don't have the ability to stand up for themselves. That's why they have to have people like me and others around this nation that for years have tried to stand up for unborn children."
"I think we have to do everything we can as policymakers to improve the quality of public health in our state," he continued. "When you look at this pandemic, there are a lot of negatives that have come from the pandemic. But one of the hopefully silver linings that come out of dealing with the pandemic over the last year and a half is that we have seen significant investments in infrastructure, both from the state and federal level in our public health system. I think we need to continue to do that. I think that's important."
"You clearly see this move as part of a culture of life as you have said in the past," Tapper replied. "Mississippi ranks 50th in the country in infant mortality. Mississippi is nearly last when it comes to childhood hunger. According to a recent study of what kids need to thrive, looking at education and health and family, community, Mississippi ranks 50th for child well-being, how do you square those statistics about Mississippi with what you say about a culture of life?"
"Well, first of all, when you look at that unborn baby in the womb and you consider it a human being, it changes your perspective on lots of different things," Reeves attempted. "With respect to the statistics you quoted, when I ran for office and in my first inaugural address, I made it clear to the people of my state that I believed in my heart I was elected not to try to hide our problems or not to try to hide our challenges but to try to fix them. I perfectly acknowledge that many of those statistics in terms of health outcomes in our state, we are underperforming relative to other states across the nation. It's incumbent upon all of us to work to pass policies to change that."
CNN 12 05 2021 09 13 19 youtu.be