MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Abortions are now officially banned in Mississippi after the state’s trigger law went into effect Thursday. Some fear what the ban could mean for existing problems, such as teen pregnancies and infant mortality.
In Mississippi, the state’s last abortion clinic is now closed in Jackson. Hours before the new law went into effect, both sides were making their case about abortion.
Governor Tate Reeves tweeted, “Today we wake up in a state where the church doors are open, and the abortion clinic’s doors are closed. All the Glory to God the Father! Amen.”
WREG reached out to Republican Representative Dan Eubanks of Walls and Democratic Representative Hester Jackson-McCray of Horn Lake.
“I am glad to see Mississippi become a place that is one of the safest places to raise a family for women, children, and babies,” Eubanks said.
“I don’t believe in abortion, but I also don’t believe that people have the right to tell people what they can do with their body,” Jackson-McCray said.
Critics of the ban say it comes at a time when Mississippi continues to be one of the worst states for teen pregnancy and infant mortality.
“If you talk about infant mortality, there’s nothing more mortal than abortion as for killing infants, but the greater scope of things I know speakers is starting to put together a committee to look at our adoption laws and foster care system to take a more holistic approach,” Eubanks said.
Other says preventive measures such as sex education for teens are needed before the problem worsens.
“We are probably going to have these illegal abortions,” Jackson-McCray said. “We’re probably going to have more babies set at the fire station and hospital doorsteps with unwanted babies. So, we got to get involved with this. Get some preventive measures.”
Mississippi state lawmakers passed the law in 2007 before the US Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade. The ban only allows for an abortion if the mother’s life is in danger, or the pregnancy is caused by rape that is reported to law enforcement.