Mississippi legislator asked about hypothetical 12-year-old child molested by family member says they’d have to carry that pregnancy to term

House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, summarizes important legislation passed this session on Tuesday, April 5, 2022 at the Mississippi Capitol in Jackson.

House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, summarizes important legislation passed this session on Tuesday, April 5, 2022 at the Mississippi Capitol in Jackson.Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

  • Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn praised Roe v. Wade’s turnaround at a news conference.

  • Gunn said that a child who is a victim of incest must carry a resulting pregnancy to term.

  • “I believe life begins at conception. And every life is precious,” Gunn said.

Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn said the 12-year-old who is pregnant with a relative should carry that child, avoiding incest exceptions to abortion bans.

Gunn, a Republican, spoke at a… press conference after the reversal of Roe v. Wade. A Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy was central to the Supreme Court’s opinion that overturned the constitutional right to abortion. The law includes exceptions for a medical emergency or “serious fetal abnormality,” but no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from incest or rape.

When a reporter asked Gunn about the possibility of an exception in cases of incest, he said he wasn’t sure “what the will of the legislature” would be to add such an exception to the law.

The reporter then asked if he thought the Mississippi legislature should reconsider the matter, to which Gunn replied, “No, personally. I don’t.”

“I believe that life begins at conception. And every life is valuable. Those are my personal beliefs,” he said.

Another reporter pressed Gunn, asking whether a 12-year-old child abused by her father or uncle should carry a resulting pregnancy to full term.

“That’s my personal belief,” Gunn replied, reiterating his view that life begins at conception.

Gunn added that he wanted the day to be about Roe v. Wade’s turnaround.

“I want to talk today about the fact that we’ve ended abortion in this country. These other things that you guys are talking about are definitely things that we can talk about to move forward. I don’t want those things to detract. to the meaning of this day,” he said.

An even more restrictive “trigger law” is: goes into effect in Mississippi next week after the attorney general confirmed it Monday. That law prohibits all abortions unless the mother’s life is in danger or the pregnancy is the result of a reported rape. It contains no exception for incest.

Rape and incest exceptions have long been popular among conservatives. Every Republican president since Ronald Reagan has supported abortion ban exceptions for cases of rape, incest, or harm to the mother, but that seems to be changing.

An increasing number of Republican lawmakers have oppose such exceptions, including Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts. Of the 13 Trigger Laws that come into effect after Roe’s fall all include maternal health exceptions, but most do not include rape or incest exceptions.

Gunn did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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