While Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has demonstrated he is unafraid to make controversial and even hyperbolic statements regarding women's reproductive rights in the past, the conservative lawmaker took it one step further on Wednesday night when he said proponents of legalized abortion have one mission in life: to kill unborn children.
"Their one mission in life is to abort children, to kill children in the womb, " Bryant told the American Family Association radio show, responding to critics who attacked the governor for recently signing legislation that could close the state's sole abortion clinic.
"We passed that bill and I think you'll see other states follow and when that happens at least these fly-in abortionists are going to be regulated under the state laws of the Medical Procedures Act here in the state of Mississippi as they should be across the nation," Bryant added.
The new state law, which received final legislative approval earlier this month, requires doctors who perform abortions at a clinic to have admitting privileges at a local hospital and be board certified in obstetrics or gynecology. Although the regulations do not appear to be unreasonable, the state's only abortion clinic currently only employs one doctor with admitting privileges. The clinic's owner, Diane Derzis, recently told POLITICO she believes it will be a challenge to secure those privileges for its other physicians.
Bryant is no stranger to extreme rhetoric. When Mississippi voters went to the polls in November to vote on a "personhood" ballot measure that would have declared that life begins at conception, a move that would have essentially outlawed abortion in the state, then-Lt. Gov. Bryant was particularly passionate about the moral importance of passing the measure.
"This is a battle of good and evil of Biblical proportions," he said, adding that if the ballot measure failed, "Satan wins."
The measure failed to get approval.