Mississippi policymakers turn attention to adding better supports for women and children

Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 9:28 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Friday will mark three weeks since the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. And abortion policies are now up to the states.

Mississippi’s near-total abortion ban is now in effect. It has been challenged and is currently pending before the Mississippi Supreme Court. But in the meantime, the conversations are shifting to what policy changes need to happen.

Creating a culture of life is something Governor Tate Reeves has been discussing for months in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s decision. But he’s not offered many details. Here’s what he said while in Columbus Thursday.

“It’s about investing in our child protection services agencies it’s about investing in adoption and making it easier for for those moms to to have their child’s but yet if they if they can’t or do not want to keep them to put them up for adoption so that other loving families can find a forever home for these young people.”

In the state Senate, a committee has already been named to address many of those very issues.

“As a man of faith and a legislator, I’m looking for a holistic way that we can approach life in this state now on the backside of Roe versus Wade, and what we can do to strengthen Mississippi families,” said Sen. Chad McMahan.

Committee member and democrat Sen. Rod Hickman says it’s an opportunity for the state to take “a hard turn in the right direction”.

“We’re not even a pro birth state,” said Hickman. “We’re a pro pregnancy state. Just stay pregnant and hopefully you’ll have your baby healthy but maybe you won’t. But we want you to stay pregnant. So, we need to become a pro birth state and a pro life state and we need to live out the true meaning of those things in that here we are trying to create some policy that will make us surely pro life.”

House minority leader Rep. Robert Johnson says he’s heard there’s a similar House committee may be in the works but it hasn’t been officially named.

“I would defer to another advocate who said once if Mississippi was serious about doing something for women and children, they would have done something before Roe vs. Wade was repealed,” added Johnson. “But in my caucus, what we’re going to do is defer to the women in our caucus and hear what they have to say and take the follow their leadership on this issue and do as much as we can.”

The state Attorney General’s office still has a little more than a week left to reply to the abortion clinic’s challenge that’s before the state Supreme Court.

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