The Supreme Court announced late last month that it had agreed to hear a challenge to Mississippi’s abortion law, and the state’s governor is hopeful the court’s eventual ruling will be favorable to the pro-life position.
During an appearance Sunday on CNN’S Reliable Sources, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) told host Jake Tapper that the court’s ruling should be in light of the scientific knowledge that has progressed significantly over the past half-century, the Washington Examiner reported.
“Science has changed”
“We know so much more in America today about the formation of young children in the womb than we did when Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973,” Reeves said.
“We know that the heart has partially formed at 15 weeks,” he continued. “We know that the baby in the womb is practicing breathing. We know that most internal organs have started to form, and we believe that that child is viable outside the womb.”
“The question is not are you going to overturn Roe v. Wade,” Reeves said. “The question is, the science has changed, and therefore, it makes sense for the court to review their decisions from the past, and this is a vehicle in which for them to do it.”
Under the bill that Reeves signed into law last year, abortions are prohibited in the state after 15 weeks except in cases when a mother’s life is in danger or severe fetal abnormality.
That limit runs afoul of the Supreme Court’s 1992 ruling Planned Parenthood of South Eastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, which held that abortion must be permitted before viability, which is usually considered to be 24 weeks.
In March, Tate also signed a bill that protects unborn children from abortion on the basis of race, sex, disability or genetic makeup.
As the Examiner noted, Mississippi’s abortion law will the first abortion-related case to be heard by all three of former President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court picks.
Oral arguments for the case are expected to begin in September, although a ruling is not likely to be reached until next spring or summer.
If the Supreme Court rules to uphold Mississippi’s law, then it will almost certainly lead to ramped-up calls from Democrats to pack the court.
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) proposed legislation to do so in April, a move that Republicans have warned would undermine the country’s balance of power and further break down Americans’ trust in U.S. institutions.