By Dave Andrusko
Thanks to a heads up from a colleague, I went back and watched pro-life Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves on Jake Tapper’s “State of the Union Program” on CNN yesterday. Tapper went after Gov. Reeves on another issue which he handled adroitly and with aplomb.
But what Tapper really wanted to grill Gov. Reeves on was the decision last month by the Supreme Court to hear the state of Mississippi’s appeal in the case of its “Gestational Age Act,” a law enacted in 2018, but blocked by Judge Carlton Wayne Reeves.
Gov. Reeves’ answers were a textbook example of how not to allow hostile interrogators to frame the question the way they prefer. By way of summary, Tapper begins by daring Gov. Reeves to disagree with his characterization of the case and then, when Gov. Reeves schools him on human biology, Tapper instantly shifts to asking the hardest of hard cases: a teenager raped by a relative.
Is it your hope that the Supreme Court will use this law, which you support, as a vehicle for overturning or undermining Roe vs. Wade?
Gov. Reeves begin by forthrightly identifying himself as pro-life, noting as well that he does believe the Supreme Court made a “big mistake” in 1973. But he counters “that’s not the issue at stake that is before the court, hopefully when the arguments are heard sometime in the fall.” What is?
The question that is before the court — and this is something that you mentioned earlier [on another topic], and that’s with respect to understanding and appreciating and respecting science.
The fact is, 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. We know so much more even than we knew when Casey was decided in 1992. That was almost 30 years ago. It is not unusual for the court to review cases from the past.
And what we know now, Jake, is that we know that the heart has partially formed at 15 weeks. We know that the baby in the womb is practicing breathing. We know that most internal organs have started to form.
You want science, Mr. Tapper? Here is a quick lesson in human biology.
Tapper immediately senses, I suspect, that he is losing control. This is supposed to be a talk about what is, from the pro-abortion perspective, the apocalypse. The justices will look at Roe and its subsequently legal progeny and all that science tells us today that we didn’t know 48 years ago and decide to begin the process to give back to the individual states the authority they had prior to 1973: to establish their own abortion laws.
What to do? If you’re Tapper, pull out what is supposed to be the ultimate conversation stopper—rape compounded by incest. How dare Reeves tell a Mississippian that this girl she has to carry the child to term.
Gov. Reeves refuses to take the bait, to get away from the issue at hand. “I’m not telling any child in Mississippi anything,” he says. Gov. Reeves tells Tapper it is “a sad, sad state of affairs” when “millions and millions and millions” of unborn lives have been taken.
Well done, Gov. Reeves.