Republicans doubled down Sunday on repealing Americans’ constitutional right to have an abortion, insisting that the landmark Roe v. Wade decision is unconstitutional and that women’s abortion rights should be left to individual states to decide.
“I think Roe v. Wade created a constitutional right that doesn’t exist in the writ constitution,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told “Fox News Sunday,” echoing similar rhetoric expressed by Gov. Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) in a separate morning show interview.
“Different states will take different approaches so the abortion debate will not go away in the country, it will be decided by the people, not a handful of judges,” said Graham, who further derided the 1973 Supreme Court decision as being divisive for the country.
Reeves, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the “Press,” also argued that there’s nothing in the Constitution that would stop individual states from enforcing their own abortion rules.
“I’m empathetic to all these ladies who find themselves in very difficult times and very difficult decisions,” he said, while stressing his own belief that “life begins at conception.”
Mississippi is one of 13 states with a so-called “trigger law” that would effectively ban abortions almost immediately if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Mississippi’s law has two exceptions, one being rape when there’s a formal charge and the other being if the mother’s life is in jeopardy. Incest is not an exception.
Reeves pressed that instead of allowing women to abort pregnancies, there should be more public resources made available for mothers and their children.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) ― whose state also has a trigger law but one that only permits an abortion if the woman is facing a medical emergency ― made similar comments in an interview with ABC News’ “This Week.”
“I believe that we would want to increase the services for maternal health, to increase the services for adoption services as well. So, we want to invest in those areas that will help those women with very difficult circumstances of the pregnancy,” Hutchinson said.
When asked about Arkansas women who want an abortion but cannot afford to travel to another state to get one, or who are pregnant from rape or incest, Hutchinson said his heart is with them.
“Well, first of all, again, that’s where your heart goes out to them. I’ve had to deal with those very difficult circumstances of rape and incest as governor. And it’s difficult. And so you have to understand that,” he said.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), in her own interview with CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” said that while she backs abortion rights and wants to see abortion laws handled at the state level, she would personally only support anti-abortion legislation in South Carolina that has exceptions for rape, incest and in cases where the woman’s life is in jeopardy.
“I’m a rape victim myself,” she told host Margaret Brennan. “And when you realize what’s happened in your life, the trauma, the emotional, the mental, the physical trauma in a woman’s life, that decision ― she should make that decision with her doctor and between her and her God.”