Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed bills on Wednesday strengthening the state’s adoption system, increasing support for pregnancy resource centers, and protecting foster children.
“Mississippi led the way to overturn Roe. Now, we’ll lead the way in supporting moms and babies,” the Republican governor told The Daily Signal, referring to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling on abortion that was overruled by the court last June in a case out of Mississippi, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
“Our state is going to set the bar for what it means to pass strong pro-life and pro-mom policies that improve the lives of Mississippi families,” he said. “I was proud to sign these bills and look forward to continuing to fight for more historic wins as part of our new pro-life agenda.”
The governor signed eight pro-life measures into law.
One piece of legislation established a bill of rights for foster parents. The legislation increases transparency for foster parents and makes the state’s Child Protection Services department more accessible.
Another increases tax credits available for those who donate to pregnancy resource centers from $3.5 million to $10 million a year.
Pregnancy resource centers, which provide support to women in unplanned pregnancies before and after their children are born, have been under attack by pro-abortion militants in the past year. There have been 84 attacks against the centers since the May 3 leak of the Supreme Court draft of the Dobbs opinion, which overturned Roe, according to Catholic Vote’s tracker.
“Mississippi will always protect life,” the governor said.
Reeves also signed a bill to help with adoption expenses. The tax credits will cover a maximum of $10,000 worth of adoption expenses for those who adopt a child from Mississippi and $5,000 worth of expenses for children from outside of Mississippi.
Other measures include giving the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services the largest budget in its history and establishing the department as its own agency, separate from the state’s Health Department.
Another bill increases opportunities for birth parents to offer a baby for adoption by authorizing the installation of safe-haven “drop-off boxes” outside police stations and hospitals across the state.
A new task force, authorized by one of the bills, will review Mississippi’s laws regarding foster care and adoption and make recommendations to the legislature for improvement.
“The legislation I signed today is further proof that when it comes to protecting life, Mississippi isn’t just talking the talk. We’re walking the walk,” Reeves said.
The group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America applauded the Mississippi legislation.
“The state that restored the right of the people and elected leaders to protect unborn children makes history again today, as Governor Reeves signs eight pro-life, safety-net measures into law,” said the group’s southern regional director, Caitlin Connors. “Through its Gestational Age Act, the life-at-conception protection that is now in effect, and more policies and programs that help families, it’s incredible to see how much ground Mississippi has covered in the course of a year to protect the unborn and serve their mothers in the Dobbs era.”
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