Standing before a roomful of anti-abortion activists in Nashville on Tuesday, Mike Pence described the “great progress” made under President Donald Trump to limit women’s access to legal abortions in the U.S. and abroad.
He called for the activists in the room to work ever harder to help “restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law.” He then made a stunning suggestion: that legal abortion could “once again” be banned in the U.S., and that it could happen “in our time.”
Speaking at a luncheon hosted by the Susan B. Anthony List and Life Institute, an anti-abortion group, the vice president announced that “life is winning in America once again,” before ticking off the many policies enacted under Trump aimed at limiting access to abortions.
“The President reinstated the Mexico City Policy to prevent American tax dollars from funding organizations that promote or perform abortions beyond our borders,” said Pence, a devout Christian who’s been described as one of Washington’s most anti-abortion Republicans.
“Our administration has stopped U.S. funding of the United Nations Population Fund so American taxpayers are no longer forced to support abortion around the world,” the VP added, his words met with loud applause and cheers. “And I can’t tell you how proud I was in my role as president of the Senate to cast the tie-breaking vote on a bill the President signed to allow states like Tennessee to defund Planned Parenthood.”
In his speech, Pence described Trump as the “most pro-life president in American history.” Over the years, Trump has had a mixed record on women’s reproductive rights. In 1999, he even described himself as “very pro-choice,” though he’s since said that he changed his mind on the issue after meeting the child of a friend who decided not to have an abortion.
Pence said the Trump administration would continue to push measures to restrict abortion access, but he stressed that “the opposition is always looking for ways to undo our achievements” and urged anti-abortion activists to take action.
“For all the progress since 1973,” he added, referencing the year of the Roe v. Wade decision, “I just know in my heart of hearts that this will be the generation that restores life in America.”