Gov. Reeves signs Pregnancy Resource Act into law

Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 9:44 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi is at the center of the nation’s abortion debate. And Thursday, the Governor signed a bill that, he says, will make it possible to offer more support to women during pregnancy.

”We will strike at the heart of the challenges that drive individuals to consider this barbaric procedure,” said Reeves.

He delivered his pro-life pitch outside one of the state’s 37 pregnancy resource centers that says it’s preparing for what may happen after the Supreme Court hands down a decision that could further restrict or prevent abortions in the state.

“We know at pregnancy centers that we’re going to be busier than ever,” noted Erin Kate Goode, executive director of Center for Pregnancy Choices Metro Area. “That more is going to be required of us and more is going to be required of the communities that support us.”

Lawmakers hope House Bill 1685 will incentivize donations to these centers by creating a new tax credit for those who donate to the non-profits.

“You can take $1 for dollar tax credit up to three-and-a-half-million dollars total for the entire state,” described Reeves. “So it is literally an ability to give monies to one of these resource centers. And you can take that donation off whatever taxes are owed to the state of Mississippi.”

The centers offer things like free sonograms, pregnancy tests and counseling. But they say they also try to connect the women to other supports post-baby.

“There’s all kinds of support available in our community. But, oftentimes, women don’t know,” added Goode. “And so we’re able to plug in wherever the gaps are in her life, if it’s that she needs ongoing counseling, or if she needs housing, or food or a job or things like that, that every woman needs to be able to thrive, we’re able to connect to that.”

Still, pro-choice advocates argue the state does not have a track record of providing supports to those women and children. And think the money would’ve been better served in other areas.

“Pushing to save the lives of new mothers by expanding postpartum access to Medicaid by fully funding education, and ensuring that working mothers have equal pay,” listed off Michelle Colon, SHERO Mississippi Executive Director and pro-abortion activist. “The state has repeatedly shown us that they are not interested in the quality of life, the quality of life of Mississippi children and our families. And so, you know, again, it’s cause of concern.”

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