Last week’s oral arguments in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health thrust the issue of abortion rights back into the center of an ongoing constitutional debate.
The case involves a challenge against a Mississippi law limiting abortions performed after 15 weeks into a pregnancy — and that state’s Republican governor has weighed in with a decisive new statement.
“A watershed moment in American history”
As Gov. Tate Reeves declared in an interview on Sunday, “there is no guaranteed right to an abortion” in the U.S. Constitution and the issue should be left to individual states to decide.
As for the potential impact of the ongoing Supreme Court case, he expressed confidence that the result would fall on the side of his state’s abortion ban.
“This has been a watershed moment in American history over the last week, as this case that many of us in the pro-life movement have hoped would come before the court for many years,” he explained.
Reeves went on to cite remarks by conservative justices last week as fodder for speculation that they might be in favor of rolling back prior precedent on the issue.
The governor went on to share his belief that “not only is there not a guaranteed right” to abortion in the Constitution, but the founding document also does not prohibit “individual states from enacting their own laws.”
“Restore the sanctity of life”
Going on to make the pro-life argument behind this and other abortion-rights disputes, Reeves added: “Since [the precedent set by Roe v. Wade] was enacted in 1973, there have been 62 million American babies that have been killed through this process. I will do everything I can to protect the lives of those children.”
Even as pro-abortion advocates see the current case as a threat to women’s rights, many prominent conservatives are expressing their optimism that a majority of justices will take the bold step of significantly rolling back current federal abortion rights.
Former Vice President Mike Pence is among those who have publicly reacted to the latest challenge to Roe v. Wade.
“We are asking the court in no uncertain terms to make history,” he said. “We are asking the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn Roe v. Wade and restore the sanctity of life at the center of American law.”
Although oral arguments were held last week, a decision in the high-profile case is not expected until well into 2022.