JACKSON, Miss. — During a press conference about Mississippi’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Tate Reeves said Tuesday that abortions should be classified as elective medical procedures and nonessential medical visits.
The Mississippi State Department of Health halted all elective medical procedures and nonessential medical visits last week due to the spread of coronavirus.
Gov. Reeves said, “We’re doing everything in our power, and have for many years, to make Mississippi the safest place in America for unborn children.”
Reeves didn’t offer specifics on what actions the state make take and later said his reasoning was only to protect equipment and supplies that may be needed for people that may get infected with coronavirus.
Dr. Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi’s State Health Officer, responded at the press conference and suggested the state would have to look into the issue before taking any action to stop abortions.
“That’s something I was not familiar with,” Dr. Dobbs said in reference to Reeves’s statement. “And before I would make any comments, I think we have to review the situation a bit more.”
According to The Clarion-Ledger newspaper, there were a few anti-abortion rights protesters Tuesday afternoon outside the Jackson Women’s Health Organization’s clinic, the only place that offers abortions in Mississippi.