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Gov. Tate Reeves says Mississippi will ‘show that being pro-life is not just about being anti-abortion’

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said Sunday that if the 15-week abortion ban he signed into law is upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, the state will act to support mothers with unplanned pregnancies and improve its foster care system.

CNN’s Jake Tapper interviewed Reeves about what will happen if the Supreme Court rules in favor of Mississippi in its impending Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision after a leaked draft majority opinion indicated the court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Tapper asked if Mississippi has conducted an analysis of what will happen when its abortion restrictions go into effect, whether unwanted pregnancies will be carried to term or women and girls will die seeking unsafe, illegal abortions.

Reeves answered in the affirmative and said, “We have started doing the hard work of what a post-Roe Mississippi will look like.”

“In fact, we believe that if, in fact, this leaked opinion is accurate and if, in fact, a majority of the justices on the Supreme Court are going to overturn Roe, we must understand that, while this is a great victory for the pro-life movement, it is not the end,” the governor said. “In fact, it is just the beginning. And the beginning is we must show that being pro-life is not just about being anti-abortion.”

Reeves said that the first immediate priority for Mississippi will be assisting organizations that help women with unwanted pregnancies. He pointed to legislation he signed last month that will provide a $3.5 million tax credit to individuals and businesses that donate to the 37 pregnancy resource and crisis pregnancy centers in the state. These organizations offer abortion-alternative services including free sonograms, pregnancy tests, and counseling and can help women find access to other resources for housing, food assistance, and more after birth.

“We want to make sure that we get those individuals, ladies and women and expectant mothers, the help that they need from a health care standpoint, but it’s not just about the health care. It’s about other resources that are available to those moms,” he said.

The “second piece” of the governor’s vision for a post-Roe Mississippi is an improved and expanded adoption and foster care system.

“The next phase of the pro-life movement is about, what are we doing to help those babies that maybe are — they do go to full term that the moms do have? And what we’re trying to do is focus on making adoption easier in Mississippi. We’re focusing on improving our foster care system,” Reeves said.

He told Tapper that Mississippi is investing more than $100 million “to improve technology at the Department of Human Services and at our Child Protection Service.”

“What we’re trying to do in Mississippi is, we’re trying to provide those potential expectant mothers the resources that they need, so that they can go to a full term of pregnancy. If they choose to keep that child, then that’s a great outcome. We want to make sure that we provide them the resources that they need, provide them the help that they need,” Reeves explained.

“But if they choose not to, we want to make sure that we have plans in place to protect those — protect those babies once they’re born. And that’s why we talk about foster care, we talk about adoptions and other things, creating forever homes for those babies.”

Critics and pro-choice advocates have pushed back against Reeves’ plan, arguing the state has a poor record of supporting women and that resources would be better spent expanding access to medical care and other services. Mississippi has the highest rate of infant mortality in the United States, as well as the highest rate of child poverty, problems that Reeves has acknowledged and says he has worked to fix.

Michelle Colon, a pro-choice activist with SHERO Mississippi, told WLBT-TV in April that instead of funding crisis pregnancy centers, Mississippi should expand postpartum access to Medicaid, provide greater funding for education, and pass laws guaranteeing equal pay for women.

“The state has repeatedly shown us that they are not interested in the quality of life, the quality of life of Mississippi children and our families. And so, you know, again, it’s cause of concern,” Colon said.

Pro-lifers have also faced accusations from the left that if Roe v. Wade is overturned, they will attempt to ban contraception next. Tapper asked Reeves to clarify whether he will seek “to ban IUDs or plan B” in the future.

“That is not what we are focused on at this time,” Reeves replied. “We’re focused on looking at, seeing what the court allows for, the bill that is before the court is a 15-week ban. We believe that the overturning of Roe is the correct decision by the court.”

(h/t: CNSNews.com)