During Sunday's edition of NBC's "Meet the Press," host Chuck Todd made it clear that he had Gov. Tate Reeves (R-MS) on to discuss the upcoming abortion case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Dobbs v. Jackson. Not surprisingly, Todd also wished to discuss COVID and vaccines with the governor, but he kept pressing on the issue, even when the conversation had supposedly moved on to addressing what Reeves was supposedly there for.
Reeves shared the position that Roe v. Wade, which created a constitutional right to abortion in 1973, and the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which created the undue burden standard, were wrongly decided. His argument in part entailed how "there is nowhere in the Constitution that prohibits individual states, states like Mississippi, to limit access to abortions."
Gov. Reeves (R-MS) on SCOTUS hearing arguments on Mississippi law that would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy:— The Recount (@therecount) November 28, 2021
"I believe very strongly that... there is nowhere in the constitution that prohibits individual states, states like Mississippi, to limit access to abortions." pic.twitter.com/lTFuwvn8Si
Not long after, however, Todd quickly tried to connect the pro-life position to vaccines and vaccine mandates, using oft-repeated, tiring liberal talking points. He even cut Reeves off to do so.
Chuck Todd interrupts Gov. Reeves (R-MS) after he says: "The difference between vaccine mandates & abortions is that vaccines allow you to protect yourself. Abortions actually go in & kill other American babies."— The Recount (@therecount) November 28, 2021
Todd: "You could argue a vaccine mandate is a pro life position." pic.twitter.com/TAIG1lANH9
The relevant exchange was as follows:
Freedom and individual liberty. Why should the state of Mississippi tell a woman what they should do with their body? Why shouldn't they have that individual freedom on their body, particularly in the first 20 weeks?
GOV. TATE REEVES:
Well, this is a prime example. And the far left loves to scream, "My body, my choice." And what I would submit to you, Chuck, is they absolutely ignore the fact that in getting an abortion there is an actual killing of an innocent, unborn child that is in that womb. Here's what we know about babies that are 15 weeks. We know that they have a heartbeat. We know that those babies at 15 weeks actually can open and close their hands. We know that they have developing lungs. And we know that those babies at 15 weeks can feel pain. And so when you talk -- the difference between vaccine mandates and abortions is vaccines allow you to protect yourself. Abortions actually go in and kill other American babies. And let's just put this in perspective, Chuck --
But Governor, vaccines are not about yourself --
GOV. TATE REEVES:
The fact is --
-- Governor, hang on a minute. A vaccine is about protecting a larger community. A vaccine is about preventing spread. You could argue a vaccine mandate is a pro-life position.
GOV. TATE REEVES:
You could certainly argue that, Chuck. But even if you listen to Dr. Fauci's interview with you earlier today, he made it very clear that the vaccine may not keep you from getting the virus. It may not keep you from spreading the virus. But it can keep you from ending up in the hospital. That's what's been proven during this Delta surge that we've seen in America, is that the virus is continuing to being spread even amongst those who are vaccinated. Conversely, when you're talking about the pro-life position of protecting unborn babies, let's put it also in perspective. The fact is that during this very horrible and challenging time since I was sworn into office in January of 2020, Chuck, we've had 800,000 American lives lost because of Covid. And my heart aches for every single one of those individuals that have died because of Covid. And over 10,000 Mississippians. My heart breaks for every single one of them. But since Roe was enacted, 62 million American babies have been aborted, and therefore have been killed. And that's why I think it's very important that people like myself and others across this country stand up for those unborn children, because they don't have the ability to stand up for themselves.
It's also worth noting that by referencing "the first 20 weeks," Todd did not appear to listen to Reeves when the governor tried to put in perspective how even Europe, beloved by the left for its liberal politics, has more strict abortion laws. A study from the Charlotte Lozier Institute in July, which Madeline covered, found that the majority of European nations restrict abortion to 12 weeks, which is the duration of the first trimester.
Gov. Reeves held strong though in sticking up for the freedom for one to decide whether or not to get vaccinated, as well as when it came to fighting to protect the unborn and for pro-life states like Mississippi to pass laws to do so.
Earlier in the segment, while also discussing vaccine mandates, Todd tried to offer that it was Reeves "and other Republican governors" who "have sent the wrong message about getting the vaccine" by opposing the mandate.
Reeves explained that "I actually believe that the president's decision to try to mandate vaccines, a decision that, by the way, flies in the face of what he said throughout the campaign," and also shared that the president may be undermining his own efforts to get more people vaccinated. "I actually think those mandates actually are hardening those individuals who were not interested in getting vaccinated," Reeves shared, also adding that "I actually think it's the president's policies that have made it more difficult in rural states like Mississippi to get more and more people vaccinated."
While Gov. Reeves does not like shots, he got vaccinated over Facebook live, as his "way in which of telling the people of Mississippi that, 'I think this is the best way for you to protect yourselves.'" He reiterated though, that "I also believe in individual liberties, and I believe in freedoms, and I believe individuals can make their own decision, what's best for them, after they talk to their physician."
The Supreme Court justices on December 1 will hear oral arguments in a case examining pre-viability abortion bans, specifically when it comes to Mississippi's ban on most abortions past 15 weeks.
Reeves told Todd he "certainly would like to do everything we can to protect unborn children," opening the door for Mississippi to pass pro-life laws that go even further.