Hosemann and other lawmakers create committees after abortion decision

Mississippi Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann announced on Monday that he was creating a nine-member “Senate Task Force on Women, Children and Families” after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the abortion last week.

In a press release, Hosemann said the committee would be tasked with making recommendations to the Legislative Assembly on policies relating to families and children from birth to 3 years old. These, he said, can include facilitating adoption and improving foster care, helping children in state custody, and improving child support and care. children.

On Friday, House Speaker Philip Gunn announced he would create the “President’s Commission on the Sanctity of Life” to examine issues and policies affecting mothers and children.

Republicans Hosemann, Gunn and Gov. Tate Reeves hailed the High Court’s decision in a Mississippi case last week that overturns Roe v. decades-old Wade granting women the right to abortion. But the three said the decision also compels Mississippi leaders to provide more resources to help mothers, children and families.

Mississippi, the poorest state in the country, suffers from a lack of prenatal, postnatal and all other forms of health care. It also has the highest infant mortality rate in the country and one of the highest maternal mortality rates. For years, it has faced federal court orders to fix its system of substandard foster care and child services.

On Monday, Hosemann said, “From increasing early education opportunities to making health care available, the Senate has approved common sense legislation that supports our mothers and babies. I look forward to reviewing the recommendations of this diverse group of legislators on these critical issues.

Gunn has been adamantly opposed to expanding Medicaid to cover the working poor and earlier this year torpedoed a Hosemann-backed Senate proposal to expand postpartum Medicaid coverage to mothers in Mississippi.

Hosemann is the only one of the state’s top three leaders to say he’s open to discussing expanding Medicaid, which would provide the state with about $1 billion a year in federal funds to provide health coverage for working poor.

Hosemann said his new study committee will be chaired by Senator Nicole Boyd, R-Oxford and will include the senses. Kevin Blackwell, Hob Bryan, Dean Kirby, Rod Hickman, Angela Hill, Chad McManan, Angela Turner-Ford and Brice Wiggins. Hosemann said the committee will hold public hearings in late summer or early fall and hear testimony from state agencies, experts and others.

Gunn said his commission would ask lawmakers and advocates to make recommendations to the House for policies to help the well-being of women and children.

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