On Friday, ex-vice president Mike Pence criticized his fellow Republican presidential contender Donald Trump and other rivals for not being fully dedicated to the anti-abortion movement. He stated to journalists that his former team member is not as strong on the matter as he is.
Pence expressed disappointment that both the previous president and other candidates in the race are attempting to downplay the importance of protecting life. He made these comments while speaking to reporters and attending the Family Research Council’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. Pence criticized the former president for not supporting a national law that would prevent or restrict abortion after 15 weeks, even though a child at that stage can feel pain. He also pointed out that the former president blamed election losses in 2022 on the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which could indicate that he does not prioritize the cause of life for pro-life Americans if re-elected.
The request for comment from the Trump campaign went unanswered.
During his address on Friday afternoon, Pence addressed a gathering of conservative activists and stated that should he be elected, he plans to use executive actions to limit abortion. He also intends to urge Congress to pass a 15-week ban. Furthermore, he expressed his intention to cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood and reverse the current policy under the Biden administration that permits military members to seek abortions in states where it is prohibited.
Several influential anti-abortion organizations, such as Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, have proposed a nationwide ban on abortions after 15 weeks as a benchmark for Republican presidential candidates. However, many candidates have either rejected this proposal or declined to state their stance due to the current backlash against the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade and the increasing number of state-level restrictions on abortion. While Vice President Pence and Senator Tim Scott have expressed support for the 15-week ban, they are both trailing behind Trump in the polls. The GOP field and the party as a whole are still deeply divided on the issue of abortion, with ongoing disagreements over when to ban the procedure during pregnancy, whether exceptions should be made for cases of rape, and whether the decision should be left to state or federal authorities.
On Friday, Pence persistently targeted Trump directly, informing the media that Trump’s stance on abortion is no longer as strong as it once was.
“In his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump vowed to lead with conservative principles. I am pleased to say that we followed through on those promises. However, it is important for voters to understand that he is not making the same assurances now.”
On the other hand, Pence stated that he is the unwavering conservative in the race when it comes to abortion.
“I am currently providing Republican and conservative voters with the exact promises, policies, and actions that we campaigned on and that have shaped my career.”
On Friday evening, Trump, Ron DeSantis (the governor of Florida), and Vivek Ramaswamy will speak at the Family Research Council conference.