Gov. Reeves has ‘reason for optimism’ after Supreme Court oral arguments this week

Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 9:57 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves was on CNN Sunday morning, discussing his thoughts on the oral arguments for the Mississippi abortion case that took place in the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Reeves doubled down on his state’s 15-week abortion ban.

“15 weeks is not at all radical,” Reeves said to CNN’s Jake Tapper. “In fact, (The Supreme Court) could recognize that 15 being the ban in the Mississippi case is more in line with abortion laws around the world.”

According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, many countries in Europe do, in fact, ban abortions sooner than 15 weeks, the nonprofit’s world map indicating the most common limit is 12 weeks.

Nevertheless, abortion advocates like Jennifer Pepper of Choices in Memphis say the statute here in the U.S. should remain the same.

“I am, quite frankly, shocked that we are here in this place today,” said Pepper.

A ruling is not expected to come from the nation’s highest court until early to mid-2022.

The court could uphold the Mississippi law and even go a step further in overturning the two landmark cases in Planned Parenthood versus Casey and Roe versus Wade.

“If Roe v. Wade is overturned, that doesn’t mean that no one in America is going to have access, although that might make people like me happy,” Reeves said. “What it does mean is that all 50 states, the laboratories of democracy, are going to have the ability to enact their own laws with respect to abortion.”

“Pregnant people have a right to privacy, have a right to liberty and the right to control what happens to their own bodies,” Pepper said. “And so, the best outcome would be no change to the current precedents or law.”

Mississippi and our other Mid-South states, Arkansas and Tennessee, have what are called “trigger laws” or “snapback laws” on abortion that would go into effect, should Roe v. Wade be overturned.

Mississippi’s law would ban almost all abortions, except for cases of rape and if the health of the mother is in jeopardy.

We’ll be following this issue closely throughout this process until a ruling is issued.

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