State Rep. Dan Eubanks, a Mississippi Republican and one of the original cosponsors of his state’s Gestational Age Act, gave his immediate reaction to Roe v. Wade being overturned in an interview Friday outside the U.S. Supreme Court.
Eubanks, who joined 15 of his Republican colleagues in sponsoring the bill in 2018, became tearful as he spoke about the Supreme Court’s decision, saying he could not “put into words” how he felt and describing the day as “probably the pinnacle of what will be my political career.”
“This has been one of those things where you don’t know if it’s going to live or die because it suffers 1,000 deaths along the way, and the fact that it wound up here and the Supreme Court took it up was just like, you know, you’re on your knees praying that a favorable outcome would come out,” Eubanks said. “And I just, I can’t put into words what I’m feeling right now, 64 million lives later. A whole lot of those I think wouldn’t have suffered the fate that they suffered had this been overturned sooner.”
Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act, which banned most abortions after 15 weeks gestation and served as a direct challenge to Roe, was signed into law in 2018 but was challenged immediately by the abortion clinic Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
The case ultimately made its way to the Supreme Court, which, on Friday, issued a 6–3 decision upholding the law. In light of its conflict with Roe and the later case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court also issued a 5–4 opinion overruling those two decades-old decisions.
Mississippi is one of 13 states with “trigger laws” in place, meaning that — in the event Roe is overturned and states are given back their full ability to regulate abortion — abortion laws are triggered in those states.
In Mississippi, abortion will become a felony with the exception of a mother’s life being in danger and rape once the state’s attorney general certifies that Roe was indeed overturned.
Eubanks, a pastor and member of his state’s Freedom Caucus, was in town with a handful of his colleagues for work related to the caucus and scheduled to fly home Friday afternoon. Eubanks said the decision coming down while he was on a brief visit to D.C. seemed serendipitous.
“I was talking to some of my buddies here, and I was like, ‘Dude, you can’t tell me that this wasn’t, like, divinely orchestrated,’” Eubanks said as he broke into a large grin. “I mean, to be here, probably the pinnacle of what will be my political career, I’m sure, and to be present for the decision. I’ve only been in D.C. a couple of times, and I mean, the chances that everything would line up perfectly. I don’t necessarily think that God did it just for me, but I just love the fact that he did it so that I could be here.”
The case is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, No. 19-1392 in the Supreme Court of the United States.