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Mike Pence doesn't mention anti-abortion views in video announcing presidential campaign

The former vice president has previously said abortion opponents ‘must not rest and must not relent’ until there are bans all across the country and abortion care is made ‘unthinkable.’

By Emily Singer - June 08, 2023
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Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a campaign event, Wednesday, June 7, 2023, in Ankeny, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Former Vice President Mike Pence officially announced on Wednesday that he is running for the Republican nomination for president in 2024, joining a crowded field of GOP contenders looking to block former President Donald Trump from becoming their party’s nominee again. 

But missing from Pence’s announcement video are any specifics about his past extreme stances on abortion. Pence has said previously that he wants all abortions banned nationwide. 

In his announcement video, Pence paints a grim picture of America: 

Today, our country’s in a lot of trouble. President Joe Biden and the radical left have weakened America at home and abroad. The American dream is being crushed under runaway inflation. … Our southern border is under siege, and the enemies of freedom are on the march around the world. And worse still, timeless American values are under assault.

As Pence talks, images meant to evoke transgender athletes and drag queens flash across the screen. 

“We can bring this country back. We can defend our nation and secure our border. We can revive our economy and put our nation back on a path to a balanced budget, defend our liberties and give America a new beginning for life,” Pence says in the video.

He never says the word “abortion” or explains what he means by a “new beginning for life.”

Pence is one of the most prominent anti-abortion Republican figures in the country. 

After the Supreme Court overturned its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, once again making it legal for states to ban abortion before fetal viability, Pence said he wants abortion banned nationwide. 

According to Politico, on June 24, 2022, the same day the ruling was issued, Pence told the right-wing site Breitbart News:

Now that Roe v. Wade has been consigned to the ash heap of history, a new arena in the cause of life has emerged, and it is incumbent on all who cherish the sanctity of life to resolve that we will take the defense of the unborn and the support for women in crisis pregnancy centers to every state in America. Having been given this second chance for life, we must not rest and must not relent until the sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in every state in the land.”

In October 2022, Pence made a speech laying out his vision for the future of abortion legislation, reiterating that he believes the procedure should be illegal nationwide.

“Our work must also go far beyond simply working to make abortion illegal,” Pence said, according to the New York Times. “We must continue to work to make it unthinkable, changing hearts and minds.”

In April, Pence told CBS News that he wants to ban mifepristone, an abortion drug that people can use for abortions at home. 

“I’d like to see this medication off the market to protect the unborn,” Pence said. Anti-abortion groups are hoping the Supreme Court will ban mifepristone in the United States. “But also I have deep concerns about the way the FDA went about approving mifepristone 20 years ago. They bypassed ordinary procedure. … I’m grateful that action is being taken in the courts to hold the FDA accountable to what the law requires in reviewing any medication that’s made on the marketplace.”

lawsuit aimed at making mifepristone illegal is making its way through the courts, based on the same claim that the FDA’s approval of the drug was not done correctly.

Pence told the Hill in April that ending abortion is “the calling of our time.” 

Pence’s stance on abortion is far outside the mainstream of American politics. 

A PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll from April found that 59% of Americans oppose the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe. Another 59% oppose a ban on abortion prior to six weeks’ gestation, before many people even know they are pregnant. A number of GOP-run states have passed laws banning abortion after six weeks’ gestation since Roe was overturned. 

Meanwhile, a Washington Post-ABC News poll from May found 66% of Americans say mifepristone should remain legal. 

Pence is unlikely to become president. 

He is loathed by many members of the GOP electorate, who are mad that Pence didn’t heed Trump’s call to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. 

The Atlantic magazine reported in March in an article called “Nobody Likes Mike Pence” that Republican primary voters made what the report called brutal comments about Pence during a focus group held by Republican consultant Sarah Longwell.

“He’s only gonna get the vote from his family, and I’m not even sure if they like him,” one voter said.

“He just needs to go away,” said another. 

Polls show Pence polling in third place nationally among Republican candidates for president, with just 5.4% of the vote, according to the FiveThirtyEight average. That’s far behind Trump, who is polling at 53.7%, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 21.3%.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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