Pence: Supreme Court has chance to right 'historic wrong' with abortion ruling

The Hill
The Hill

Former Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday will lay out the case for reversing the precedent set by Roe v. Wade on the eve of Supreme Court arguments over a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

In remarks at the National Press Club, obtained in advance by The Hill, Pence will call the high court's decision on Roe, which protected a woman's right to have an abortion, a "misguided" ruling that has unfairly harmed millions of unborn children and triggered a ripple effect of consequences across the country.

"We are asking the Court, in no uncertain terms, to make history," Pence will say, according to prepared remarks. "We are asking the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn Roe v. Wade and restore the sanctity of human life to the center of American law."

Pence will call the court's 1973 ruling on Roe a "misguided decision" that has "inflicted a tragedy not only on our nation, but on humanity, that is hard to fathom."

The former vice president will argue U.S. policies on abortion are out of touch with the mainstream, pointing to European countries like France and Spain that have restrictions on the procedure after 14 weeks, with some exceptions.

Pence will also argue abortion laws written by elected representatives at the state level are more reflective of the public's view than court rulings by "unelected judges."

"When the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade — and I believe with all my heart that day will come, either now or in the near future — it will not come as a surprise to anyone," Pence will say Tuesday. "It will simply be the culmination of a 50-year journey whose course and destination have been set by the will of the American people."

Pence's remarks come a day before Supreme Court justices will hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

The Mississippi case is being closely watched by conservatives, who have for decades rallied support for overturning Roe v. Wade, and by liberals, who have feared since former President Trump appointed three justices to the court that a woman's right to an abortion was in danger.

Under current precedent, states may regulate abortion up to the point of fetal viability, typically around 23 weeks, so long as the restriction does not pose an "undue burden" on abortion access. Mississippi’s law, which bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy and makes exceptions only for medical emergencies or “severe fetal abnormality,” is a clear-cut violation of this framework, critics say.

The state's Republican attorney general, in a court brief filed over the summer, explicitly urged the justices to overrule Roe and related rulings, calling the court’s precedent on abortion “egregiously wrong.”

Pence's political advocacy group, Advancing American Freedom, joined an amicus brief in support of the Mississippi law.

Pence will appear on Tuesday alongside Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, for a talk after the address.

The former vice president has been staunchly anti-abortion throughout his career. He is expected to highlight Trump administration policies that restricted funding for abortion during his time as vice president, as well as measures he enacted while governor of Indiana that limited access to the procedure.

Tuesday's speech is Pence's latest stop on a speaking circuit that has kept him in the public eye touting conservative causes amid speculation about a potential 2024 presidential bid. Pence has appeared in Iowa and South Carolina and next week will headline a conservative event in New Hampshire focused on attacking President Biden 's economic agenda.

Comments / 591

Finley pershing

there are 380,000 churches in the United States. at last count there was 443,000 orphaned children in the United stated. so until they want to start adopting these unwanted kids, they need to stay out of a woman's uterus. it is a medical decision between a woman and her doctor. politicians and judges have no place in decisions for medical conditions. pregnancy IS a medical decision.

Timothy A Long

Ok...I use to like Pence, but he is walking down the wrong road. I am a conservative, but the whole abortion issue should be left to the ladies.

Robert Arnold

Pence never left the 50's when back alley coat hanger abortions were the nor.If Roe vs Wade is overturned it will start awhile new industry for people to make money performing illegal abortions that will kill more babies and women plus lead to a burden on the medical community treating infections etc.


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