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Former Vice President Mike Pence says he hopes that the five conservative justices on the nine-member Supreme Court have the “courage of their convictions” to strike down the nearly half century old landmark Roe v. Wade abortion ruling.
The former vice president, a friend to social conservatives who’s long pushed for restrictions on abortion, made his comments Thursday in a speech to several hundred congregants gathered at Lakewood Baptist Church in Rock Hill, South Carolina, for a National Day of Prayer service.
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After asking for prayers for all federal elected officials and members of the nation’s highest court, Pence said to loud applause “let’s especially pray that the five justices listed in the majority opinion leaked this week will have the courage of their convictions to right a historic wrong.”
The former vice president’s comments come in the wake of the unprecedented leak of an initial draft opinion that indicates the high court’s conservative majority is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade, a development that rocked the political world.
Following his appearance, Pence told reporters that he hoped the likely overturning of the abortion ruling would give the nation “a fresh start on life.”
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And he emphasized such a move by the high court “will return the question on this profound moral issue to the states and the American people where it belongs.”
“I really do believe when it comes to issues that are closest and nearest and dearest to American people like the sanctity of human life, that those are best decided by the people and their elected representatives,” he emphasized.
Pence noted that “we’ll be working in states around the country to advance the cause of life once they do.”
The visit to South Carolina — the third state to vote in the Republican Party’s presidential nominating calendar — was the former vice president’s second in less than a week.
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Pence, who has not ruled out a run for the White House in 2024 and who’s making all the early moves needed to mount a national campaign, delivered remarks last Saturday at Columbia International University, a private, conservative, biblically focused school located in South Carolina’s capital city. Word that Pence would be traveling to the Palmetto State to deliver the commencement remarks was first reported by Fox News in February.
Following his appearance at the National Day of Prayer service in Rock Hill, the former vice president was set to address a dinner on behalf of the Carolina Pregnancy Center, a Christian facility that provides counseling, supplies and adoption services to women with unplanned pregnancies.
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The center, located in Spartanburg in the state’s conservative northwest corner, has become a must-stop for some GOP presidential hopefuls in recent election cycles, as they’ve flocked to South Carolina to showcase their pro-life credentials in front of the state’s socially conservative Republican primary voters.
Ahead of Pence’s visit on Thursday, the Democratic National Committee took aim at the former vice president for what they argued was his “extreme, unpopular, and anti-choice agenda, and his long history of attacking women’s health care and reproductive rights that led to this disastrous decision.”