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'Not On Our Watch': Women's Rights Groups Reject Pence Prediction of Ending Abortion 'In Our Time'

Despite the vice president's confidence that the right can succeed in ending legal abortions, Pence's extreme views are out of line with those of most Americans

Reproductive rights advocates pointed out after Vice President Mike Pence's comments on Tuesday that even if the right succeeded in banning abortions, women would still make choices about their own reproductive health—but would lack access to safe abortion care. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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