Reproductive rights groups and pro-choice lawmakers strongly rejected Vice President Mike Pence's prediction that legal abortion would end "in our time," and vowed that his declaration, made at a conference in Nashville on Tuesday, would ensure that the pro-choice movement works even harder to ensure that abortion care remains accessible and safe for women.
Pence promises abortion will end in his lifetime. Not if my lifetime has anything to say about it. https://t.co/bTHaSnRhLr
— ilyse hogue (@ilyseh) February 27, 2018
Not if we have anything to do with it. Get to the polls this November, women. We’re owning our future. https://t.co/hNcegl40Wa
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) February 28, 2018
At a luncheon hosted by the Susan B. Anthony List & Life Institute, a group that works to elect anti-choice candidates, the vice president told the audience, "I know in my heart of hearts this will be the generation that restores life in America. If all of us do all we can, we can once again, in our time, restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law."
Mike Pence said yesterday that legal abortion would end “in our time.” To this we say: NEVER. We will NEVER allow a world in which women don’t get to decide their own destinies or control their own bodies. https://t.co/PS5a8QyP3x
— NARAL (@NARAL) February 28, 2018
Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) found Pence's words chilling, considering that women obtained abortions long before they were made legal in the U.S., and would doubtlessly continue to make choices about their own reproductive health even if anti-choice politicians succeeded in banning the procedure—but would lose access to safe abortion facilities.
We saw an end to abortion "in our time." It resulted in women dying from botched operations. Abortion is a medical procedure and a constitutional right. @VP Pence: you are on the wrong side of science & the law. I will not allow you to endanger women's lives to suit your ideology https://t.co/fc4iFelRlE
— Judy Chu (@RepJudyChu) February 27, 2018
Pence is one of the most extreme anti-choice elected officials in the country, having signed a bill as Governor of Indiana that would have required burials or cremations for fetal tissue—a bill that was later blocked by a judge—and sponsored unsuccessful legislation in the Senate that would have blocked federal funds for abortion access except in the case of "forcible" rape, re-defining the term in order to give the government the right to deny abortion care to certain rape survivors.
His comments prompted some to point out that his extreme views make him an outlier.
Pence must have been talking to a room full of very old people, or at least thought he was, when he said "this will be the generation" that ends abortion rights in U.S. The majority of millennials, who now outnumber us boomers, will never stand for this. https://t.co/PuVXCfy51P
— Connie Schultz (@ConnieSchultz) February 28, 2018
Fifty-seven percent of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to the Pew Research Center. Young Americans from the ages of 18 to 29 show the most support for pro-choice policies, with 65 percent saying the procedure should remain legal.
About seven in 10 Americans oppose overturning Roe vs. Wade, which the vice president has said should be "consigned to the ash heap of history."
A number of women's rights advocates responded to Pence's remarks by saying his extremism would invigorate groups that defend the right to safe and legal abortion care.
— Sherry Pagoto (@DrSherryPagoto) February 28, 2018
Not on our watch. We will NEVER allow a woman’s constitutional right to abortion to be stripped away. https://t.co/fSWw84bGjM
— NARAL (@NARAL) February 27, 2018