Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves did not provide clear answers over the weekend about whether his state would ban certain contraception types in the event that the Supreme Court overturns almost 50 years of precedent in abortion rights in a ruling involving a law he passed last year.
Mississippi’s state lawyers in Dobbs v. Jackson Dec., argued before the CourtThe 1973 decision Roe v. WadeThe Supreme Court ruling that allowed abortion rights to be recognized in the U.S. should be overturned Last week, the Court leaked a draft opinionIt was indicated that at most five conservative justices, which constitute a majority of High Court, were willing to do so, leaving abortion regulations up for either state legislatures and Congress.
Reeves appeared on TV twice this weekend to discuss the consequences of overturning the Constitution Roe. The Mississippi governor was also asked if lawmakers in his state would try to regulate or ban contraceptives and if he would support such moves. On both shows, he tried to shift the conversation away from abortion, and didn’t give a clear answer on what he would do if a bill banning birth control reached his desk.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd asked Reeves what would happen if Roe was overturned. The state’s 15-week ban, which prompted the Court to take up Dobbs in the first place, wouldn’t be implemented, Reeves said, but a 2007 “trigger law,” automatically banning all abortions in Mississippi, would take effect. That law only allows for abortion procedures to happen in cases of rape or where the individual’s life is at risk.
“What about contraceptives?” Todd asked.
The governor refused to explain whether he would support or enact bans on certain types of birth control, but reiterated that he believes “life begins at conception.”
Reeves also appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” on SundayHe was again asked if he would ban contraception. The Mississippi governor once more tried to avoid the subject, saying that the “next phase” of the anti-abortion movement would be focusing on helping individuals who unexpectedly found themselves pregnant.
On that program, Reeves reiterated his belief that “life begins at conception,” but refused to answer what that actually meant to him — whether he believed a fertilized egg, on its own, meant a person was pregnant, or whether an egg had to be implanted on a uterine wall to be considered conceived.
This distinction is important because it could help clarify which contraceptives would be affected by a ban.
There are many birth control devices and medications available (such as Plan B or Intrauterine Devices). Prevent the implantation of fertilized eggs. If a law purports that “conception” and “fertilization” are one and the same, it would mean those types of contraceptives could be banned, under those definitions.
Medical experts agree, however, that “fertilization” isn’t when pregnancy begins, as a fertilized egg needs to be attached to the uterine wall before it can begin developing.
Reeves’s comments came days after a Republican-sponsored bill in Louisiana advanced in the state legislature that would All abortions after fertilization of an egg are prohibited in the State. Experts in reproductive rights warn that the bill could be used to ban certain types of birth control if passed. Those who violate the proposed law could potentially be charged with homicideAccording to the text of legislation.