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GOP government defends forcing incest victims to have children

“Why is it acceptable in your state to force girls who are victims of incest to carry those children to term?” CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, whose state has a trigger law that immediately bans abortion , if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. calf. This law, also known as the “snapback law,” does not contain an exception that allows victims of incest to access abortion treatments. The only exceptions in the law are cases of rape and when the mother’s life is in danger.

Asked Sunday whether Mississippi would enforce the snapback law if Roe is tipped – which is becoming increasingly likely thanks to a leaked draft advisory – Reeves told Tapper he would. “Yes, Mississippi has a trigger law,” Reeves said. “It was passed in 2007, and this trigger bill will go into effect” when Roe is repealed. Pro-choice Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, on the other hand, has gone to court to prevent the state’s trigger bill from going into effect if the Supreme Court invalidates Roe.

When Tapper asked Reeves to “explain why” there are no exceptions in Mississippi’s trigger law, the Republican governor perfunctoryly replied, “Well, that’s going to be the law because the Mississippi legislature passed it in 2007.”

Reeves defended that no exception for incest was included in the 2007 legislation. “If you look at the numbers [abortions] that actually involve incest, it’s less than 1 percent,” he said.

But Tapper continued to press Reeves on the lack of exceptions in the state’s law. “Let me ask you, what about a fetus that has serious or fatal abnormalities that do not allow that fetus to live outside the womb? Will the state of Mississippi force the girls and women carrying this tragedy to bear the child? Do you want to force her to do this?”

Reeves continued to duck the pointed questions, resorting again to the argument that only a “very small” percentage of abortions would be affected by the lack of exceptions, as if that somehow eliminated the problem created by the law or the potential trauma to women would minimize would experience.

Reeves also advertised his state’s pregnancy resource centers as equipped to help expectant mothers. But as the sociologist Katrina Kimport, who has studied these centers in depth, tells The New York Times, they are “inadequate” because “the scale of the need far exceeds what the centers could provide.”

“We’re talking about prenatal vitamins, and they don’t have stable housing,” said Kimport, associate professor with Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco.

Tapper also pointed out to Reeves that his state has a very poor history of caring for parents and their children. “Mississippi, as you know, has the highest infant mortality rate in the United States,” he said. “They have the highest rate of child poverty in the United States. Your state has no guaranteed paid maternity leave. The Mississippi legislature just turned down Medicaid’s extension of postpartum health coverage. Her foster care system is also the subject of a long-running federal case over its failure to protect children from abuse.”

Tapper continued: “You say you want to do more to support mothers and children. But you have been in the state government since 2004. They were chamberlains. Then you were Lieutenant Governor. Now you’re the governor based on the state of Mississippi’s track record why would any of these girls or moms believe you?

Reeves admitted his state has “a long history of poor health outcomes,” but danced around the question, making vague promises that he’s “focused every day on solving the challenges that lie ahead,” and spoke condescendingly about ” Educational Opportunities” and “Jobs”. ‘ (as if education and jobs would fix ingrained child poverty, as if childcare in America wasn’t prohibitively expensive for many working mothers).

Tapper later asked Reeves if his state would “target IUDs or Plan Bs,” which are forms of birth control. Again, Reeves dodged the question while refusing to close the door on a possible birth control ban. “That’s not what we’re focusing on right now,” he said. “We are concentrating on … what the court will allow. The bill before the court provides for a 15-week ban. We believe Roe’s overturning is the correct decision of the court.”

Reeves’ interview was followed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Responding to what Reeves said, the Democrat called him “quite paternalistic about women.”

“He pointed out during your conversation that all we need is more education for women,” Gillibrand said. “I was quite offended by his remarks. He does not see women as full citizens. He has denied them the right to make those fundamental decisions about when they have children, under what circumstances they have children, how many children they have, at what point in their lives they have children.”

She continued, “It is outrageous that this governor and governors and legislatures across America should accept this draft advisory opinion when it is final and deny women these fundamental life and death decisions about their futures and about their families.”

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/tate-reeves-jake-tapper-mississippi-incest-abortion-1350469/ GOP government defends forcing incest victims to have children

Brian Lowry

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