SPARTANBURG, SC (AP) — Former Vice President Mike Pence has applauded the essence of a leaked draft opinion suggesting the U.S. Supreme Court may be on the verge of overturning the landmark case that legalized abortion nationwide, predicting the decision could have favorable impacts for anti-abortion candidates in midterm elections across the country.
“I hope and pray that the Supreme Court’s draft opinion stands and becomes part of the law of the land, returning the issue of abortion to the states and to the American people,” Pence said. “I also have no doubt that the women and men running for public office at all levels who have taken a strong stand for the unborn child and the sanctity of life will be favorably affected by this decision, in especially at the state level.
Pence spoke Thursday night during a benefit for the Carolina Pregnancy Center, a crisis pregnancy center in Spartanburg, part of conservative northern South Carolina. Before his speech, he visited the organisation’s mobile ultrasound unit.
Earlier this week, a draft notice leaked to Politico suggested the U.S. Supreme Court may be on the verge of overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide. It is his second visit in a week to the early-voting state that would be key to Pence’s support among white evangelical Christian voters.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, then states will regulate abortions. (Source: CNN/WJLA/WUSA/KCBD/Politico)
A decision to overrule Roe would lead to abortion bans in about half the country and could have huge ramifications for this year’s election. But it’s unclear whether the draft represents the court’s final say on the matter – opinions often change in big and small ways in the drafting process.
The abortion issue has long been a centerpiece of Pence’s political life, dating back to his days in Congress and as governor of Indiana. He has spent the months since the end of the Trump administration trying to position himself as a conservative who can appeal to both his white evangelical Christian base, as well as Trump supporters and those who may have liked Trump’s policies, but not his pugilism. style.
As he mulls a possible presidential bid, Pence has set up a post-White House operation that includes a political advocacy group, giving speeches, raising funds and building relationships that could help him if he chooses. to appear in 2024.
“Governors, state legislators at all levels, if this draft Supreme Court opinion stands, will now have a say in the matter of life in their individual states,” Pence said Thursday. “And I have a feeling, as the nation moves more and more towards recognizing the sanctity of life, that it will be looking for women and men who are willing to unapologetically champion the cause of life this year and in the years to come.”
It is Pence’s second visit in a week to the state, which is holding the first presidential primary in the South. On Saturday, Pence spoke during commencement exercises at Columbia International University, sharing his personal faith story and telling Christian school graduates that “the antidote to nullify culture is freedom, so decide here and now that you will live as free men and women, and defend the freedoms that generations of Americans have fought to defend.
During that visit, CIU Chairman Mark Smith, who served as Trump’s White House religious adviser, said he believed “Pence saved our nation by refusing to cancel the Jan. 6 election.” .
“I asked him, ‘How did you do it?’ said Smith. “I will not betray his words, but I will convey to you, character manifests.”
South Carolina would be key for Pence to run for president in 2024, with its large contingent of conservative white evangelical voters. Last year, Pence chose South Carolina as the scene of his first public address since leaving the Trump administration, addressing a fundraiser for a conservative Christian nonprofit.
On Thursday, Pence told a crowd of more than 1,000 that support organizations like the Carolina Pregnancy Center, which advises women against having abortions and offers them support, need them to continue their financial support.
“I think we’re going to see more and more states committing more and more to providing support for women facing pregnancies in crisis,” Pence said. “I truly believe that when it comes time for the Supreme Court to do its job, it’s incumbent on us to do our job.”
Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.
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