COMMENTARY | Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill making abortion less accessible Monday, according to CNN. "I believe that all human life is precious and as governor, I will work to ensure that the lives of the born and unborn are protected in Mississippi," he said. Does Bryant really believe all human life is precious? Will he really work to protect all lives, before and after birth, as his words indicate? His actions appear to disagree with his statements.
For starters, he has made it very clear his chief interest leans strongly toward being an anti-abortionist, having claimed he wants Mississippi to be an abortion-free state. That is not necessarily contradictory to his statement, however. It takes a little more digging to see a clearer picture of his views and motives.
The Mission Mississippi website describes his "prayer luncheon." While the stated goal of fighting racism is laudable, the relevant fact is Bryant is a religious Christian. That's often a source of pro-life philosophy.
So far, so good.
What about protecting life by abolishing the death penalty? True, those sentenced to it are convicted of awful crimes. Nobody said following the teachings of Christianity was easy, however, and sticking to a pro-life stance when thinking of convicted killers is difficult. Nevertheless, they are still living humans and deserve protection. Does Bryant fulfill his commitment to protect all life, including in that difficult situation?
The Mississippi Department of Corrections report on executed criminals shows death sentences carried out as recently as March 23. Bryant, if he was truly committed to protecting all life, could have issued stays of execution. He did not, so he did not act to protect all lives.
It would have been politically disadvantageous to let a murderer avoid the sentence of the court, but again, following Christian teaching is not easy.
A quick review of the governor's website shows no campaigning or promotion of universal health care. Surely one would think protecting the healthy lives of every Mississippian would fall within his stated commitment.
It appears on review Bryant is more anti-abortion than pro-life. Maybe he should make different statements in the future.