Acknowledging the state’s “long history of poor health outcomes” due to poverty, Reeves stated that “the best thing we can do for [women] is to provide and improve educational opportunities.” He then proceeded to more explicitly suggest women’s own shortcomings were at fault when he intoned, “They’ve got to improve the quality of their skills” in the workforce.
From there, Tapper grilled Reeves on the state’s trigger law on abortion that has no exception for incest, asking the governor if he could explain why the law would force victims of incest to carry those children to term.
Attempting to dodge the question, Reeves noted that when the legislation was passed, the state’s House of Representatives had a Democratic speaker as well as a Democrat leading the public health committee. “This sort of speaks to how far the Democrats in Washington have come on this issue,” he added.
“Why is it acceptable in your state to force girls who are victims of incest to carry those children to term?” Tapper, undeterred, shot back.
The governor responded that over 92 percent of abortions are “elective procedures,” while incest accounts for less than one percent of all abortions. At the same time, he said that if they “need to have that conversation in the future” as it relates to the trigger law, they “can certainly do that.”
Jake Tapper: "Why is it acceptable in your state to force girls who are victims of incest to carry those children to term?"— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) May 8, 2022
Tate Reeves: "The reality is, again, that affects less than 1% of all abortions in America."
Tapper: "Are you going to force them to do that?" pic.twitter.com/kJLra2I9ce