Her Bill Got Roe v. Wade Overturned; Here’s What She Wants To See Next

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2023/01/22/her-bill-got-roe-v-wade-overturned-heres-what-she-wants-to-see-next/

Becky Currie never thought she would see Roe v. Wade overturned.

But it happened — and she wrote the bill that killed it.

Currie, 65, penned the Gestational Age Act, passed by the Mississippi legislature and signed into law in 2018. It limited abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancies to cases of medical emergencies or several fetal abnormalities.

When then-Governor Phil Bryant signed it into law, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion clinic in the state at the time, sued the state’s Department of Public Health to try to block the law.

Currie knew that would happen. What she didn’t know, however, is that the Dobbs v. Jackson case would make it to the U.S. Supreme Court and become the case that struck down Roe v. Wade. The court’s 6-3 decision, published June 24, 2022, sent abortion law back to the states. 

As a result, Roe v. Wade is no longer in force on the 50-year anniversary of the decision (Sunday, January 22, 2023).

“It’s my honor to have been able to get this done, and I didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime,” Currie told NewBostonPost in a telephone interview. “Believe me.”

Currie said that she and other lawmakers had been trying to chip away at abortion for years, and they thought a 15-week bill was the next logical step.

In a 2021 Newsweek column published in December 2021, she noted that most countries where abortion is legal have a gestational limit of 12 weeks or earlier.

“It was a no-nonsense bill,” she said. “I’m very pro-life and I wanted to do something that protected women and children. I thought it was a good bill protecting women and babies, and we had no idea our bill would be the one the court took up. “

Given the composition of the Supreme Court, with five conservatives, Currie said she thought once the case reached the Supreme Court, she could get the result she wanted.

“With the court that we had, I always felt good about it,” she said. “I felt that this bill from the day that I started working on it was anointed. I didn’t know it was going to the Supreme Court, but I remember telling legislators who wanted to work on other bills that this bill had great potential. It was a good feeling I had about that bill. 

“President Trump gave us a conservative court for the first time that I remember,” she added. “I only remember them having a liberal court. We got the right court at the right time. It was never a constitutional thing like they kept trying to tell us. Everybody knows what the right thing is.”

Thanks to a trigger ban statute enacted in 2007, Currie’s 15-week bill is not in effect. Abortion is now generally illegal in Mississippi, except in cases of rape or “where necessary for the preservation of the mother’s life.”

Although Mississippi has one of the strongest pro-life laws in the country in place, Currie says the work is only beginning for the pro-life movement there. She said that her state has been doing more to support women and children and that she will continue to fight to help them even more. 

“We have to realize that we have women and children, and sometimes, women are going to be in a bad situation,” she said.

Currie said that preventing unintended pregnancies will be vital to reducing demand for abortion in the state.

To accomplish that, Currie, a registered nurse, filed a bill last week (HB.506) that would allow the state’s county health centers to dispense contraception. Her bill would require these centers to have a nurse practitioner on site at least one day a week who can prescribe birth control pills.

“We have a lot of rural areas, and it’s very hard to have care and options for women, but in every county, we have a county health department,” she said.

Contraception is controversial among pro-lifers; some say it’s immoral and that it contributes to a mentality that cheapens sex and erodes respect for life. But Currie sees it as necessary.

“We have not expanded Medicaid, and a lot of women don’t have $500 or $600 to go in for a checkup and get their birth control prescription, or an IUD, or whichever method they choose to help them,” she added. “I live in the real world as a registered nurse. These things are going to happen. But if you don’t have access to care, then you are not going to plan ahead, and we’re just going to have a lot of unwanted children or children that aren’t taken care of or end up in a foster system or put up for adoption. If we don’t help prevent these situations and help women in these situations, it will cost the public more in the long run.”

Currie also noted that Mississippi enacted a bill last year that sets aside $3.5 million in tax credits for individuals and businesses that donate to crisis pregnancy centers. She said that in Mississippi, crisis pregnancy centers provide women with cribs, diapers, baby clothes, and even financial support. 

Additionally, Currie said she would like to see adoption be made more affordable. Mississippi offers a $2,500 tax credit for each adoption that taxpayers can use over three years. 

She said that while she does not want to make it easier for bad people to adopt children, she would like to see it become more feasible for the right people.

“We’re looking at all sorts of different ways to be there for these children,” Currie said. “I’m proud of our state because we realized the day that this passed we would no longer have abortion in the state of Mississippi. Now, we have to do our job, and we have people who need us, and we’ll be there for them.”

Currie also said she wants to see the state pass a law requiring fathers to pay child support for the nine months an unborn baby is in the womb. 

“It’s always the woman that for nine months struggles to go to work and pay the bills and go to the doctor,” she said. “All of the burden falls on the woman, but it takes the man and the woman to make the child, so we need these dads to step up to the plate and support that baby that is coming into the world.”

While Currie said that, ideally, adults would marry before they have children and keep their families intact and avoid situations that result in unintended pregnancies, she thinks pro-lifers should take a more pragmatic approach to this issue. 

“I’m a Christian and I would love for everyone to be married and have children in wedlock, but as a registered nurse, I live in the real world, and these things happen,” she said. “In the pro-life movement, we have prayed for this for a long time and we have been given this by God. So now, we as Christians have to step up to the plate and be there. If you have a woman with an unwanted pregnancy, Christians need to be there to help her.”

“As Christians, we cannot sit back now and take a back seat,” she added.

While Currie’s work continues in Mississippi, she said there is work to be done for the pro-life movement in all 50 states, regardless of their abortion laws.

“No matter where you live, there are scared young women that need help, and they may decide that if someone reaches out with a helping hand they may keep this baby,” she said. “It doesn’t take much for Christians to reach out, but this is something that Christians have prayed for for 50 years. You can’t go home now and say, ‘Oh, my job is done.’ The job just began.”

“Follow up with every state, no matter what your laws are,” she added. “There are people that need help, and as Christians, we’ve got to be to help them.”


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