Mississippi Gov. to Do What After Roe is Overturned?

Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com
Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com

If you haven’t heard, the US Supreme Court is currently hearing and reviewing a case involving abortion laws in America. Arguments were heard last week about the topic. According to several questions asked by several different justices, it is extremely possible that the ever-controversial Roe v. Wade ruling of 1973 could be overturned.

And if that happens, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has recently made it clear that he will work to abolish the legality of abortion in his state for most cases, or more specifically, all those to take place after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

This is, in fact, the very issue that has brought the case before the Supreme Court in the first place.

As a Republican-led state, Mississippi issued a new law this past year that would do just that: ban abortions after a woman has been pregnant for 15 weeks or more. At this time of pregnancy, a heartbeat can be detected, and the unborn child is believed to be able to feel pain.

Naturally, those on the progressive left who would like to see abortions en masse continue in the United States are fighting the legality of this law, claiming that it violates the previously established law of Roe v. Wade.

But what if the initial Roe v. Wade decision was wrong? That’s what the Mississippi/Dodds case is arguing.

And so far, it looks as though that idea could be viable.

In fact, according to Chief Justice John Roberts, the proposed law isn’t a “dramatic departure” from previous court rulings on the issue in terms of feasibility.

Reeves says statements like these, as well as several others by other justices, have given him hope that Roe could, in fact, be overturned. And so he’s making plans as to what his state will do should that happen. However, he’s not under any illusion that things could change.

He told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday, “I watched enough court cases to know that just because a particular judge or particular justices ask certain questions doesn’t mean that’s necessarily how they’re going to rule.”

Another reason that gives Reeves hope is that legally, it could happen.

He explains that the US constitution never gives any guaranteed right to abortion, such as it does with freedoms of speech or religion, which means that the US government should not be able to dictate whether abortions are wrong or right, legal or not. In turn, this means the issue should be left up to individual states.

“And, after all, that’s really what the founding fathers intended. For any issue that is not explicit in the Constitution, it should be left to the states and the state legislators and the democratic process.”

So if Mississippi decides to ban abortions after 15 weeks, it should be their decision to make, just as it is New York’s right to be able to legalize abortions in their more liberally-ran state.

Reeves points out that the process is not to make abortions illegal everywhere, although he wouldn’t object to that. Instead, it’s just to give individual states the right to decide for themselves what is best regarding this issue.

If you believe, as Reeves does, that the most important word in the phrase “unborn children” is not “unborn” but “children,” as in living, breathing, and blood flowing youths, then it only makes sense that a law should exist to protect their lives. And if the majority of the population in any certain state agrees on that issue, then it should be that state’s right to enact such a law.

But if they don’t, then such a law shouldn’t exist. After all, that’s the whole point of a democracy – to have rules for and by the people.

And according to outlets like The Washington Post, it’s not all that unlikely that democracy will win out in this instance, particularly after questions and statements from those like Justice Roberts. The Post noted that the court “is on the verge of a major shift in is abortion jurisprudence, and is likely to uphold a Mississippi law that mostly prohibits the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy.”