The Trump-packed Supreme Court used a Mississippi 15-week abortion ban as its pretext for overturning Roe v. Wade, a ban that state officials explicitly said was intended to draw the court into striking down the nearly half-century precedent. That decision is causing serious suffering around the United States, leaving pregnant people in at least four states without abortion options other than traveling out of state, and legal battles playing out state by state over whether their bans can go into effect.
Here’s what Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves had to say about his state’s role in ending federal abortion rights for everyone in the country: “This entire court battle was never about winning a court case; it was always about creating a culture of life, and that’s exactly what we are doing here in Mississippi,” he said on Fox News Sunday.
Culture of life, he says.
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Let’s look at that culture of life, shall we?
Mississippi has the highest firearm mortality rate among the states.
Mississippi has the highest homicide rate among the states.
Mississippi has the lowest life expectancy at birth among the states. And, to go with that, the highest infant mortality. Surprisingly, its maternal mortality rate is not among the worst, though it is in the bottom half of states.
Mississippi is also one of 12 states not to have expanded Medicaid.
Does this look like a culture of life? Or a culture of contempt for life and health and safety? Yet this is not what Mississippi officials like Reeves want to change. No, they took aim—in a court case they were intent on winning, whatever Reeves claims—at the fundamental right to decide whether to be pregnant and access medical care. By limiting that right, they’ll increase maternal mortality as well as increase poverty among people unable to access abortion.
That’s their “culture of life.”
Of all the things Mississippi officials could have worked to change, given high death rates from extremely preventable causes, it’s people’s right to make a fundamental decision about their own lives and futures that Reeves and his fellow Republicans saw as the problem.
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Republicans are getting what they wanted on abortion. The suffering will be immense