Sep 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Pence says he hopes Supreme Court will overturn abortion rights

Former Vice President Mike Pence speaking in Budapest on Sept. 23.
Former Vice President Mike Pence speaking in Budapest on Sept. 23. Photo: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday he's hopeful the majority-conservative Supreme Court secured during the Trump administration will overturn abortion rights in the United States, according to AP.

Why it matters: Pence made the comments at a biennial forum held in Budapest by conservative leaders concerned about changes in demographics, family values, fertility rates and illegal immigration into Western countries.

What they're saying: “We see a crisis that brings us here today, a crisis that strikes at the very heart of civilization itself," Pence said during his speech at the forum, according to AP. "The erosion of the nuclear family marked by declining marriage rates, rising divorce, widespread abortion and plummeting birth rates."

  • “We may well have a fresh start in the cause of life in America. It is our hope and our prayer that in the coming days, a new conservative majority on the Supreme Court of the United States will take action to restore the sanctity of life at the center of American law.”
  • Pence praised Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has been recently commended by other American conservative figures, for falling abortion rates under his leadership.
  • Orban has been accused of eroding Hungary's democratic institutions and discriminating against minorities, including asylum seekers and LGBT people, according to AP.

The big picture: A new Texas law bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, or roughly six weeks — before many women know they are pregnant.

  • It went into effect this month after the Supreme Court did not act on requests from reproductive rights advocates to block the ban, which is the most restrictive abortion law to be enacted since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.
  • The law allows private citizens to sue other people that either performed or aided an abortion up to four months after the procedure was completed. The state would also financially support the plaintiff in the lawsuit.
  • It does not make exceptions for pregnancies that are a result of rape or incest if a heartbeat is detected.
  • It has been challenged by multiple entities, including the Department of Justice, and has been a model for a similar ban introduced in Florida's legislature on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in December for a major case over a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks.

The bottom line: The Supreme Court has not ruled on the constitutionality of Texas' abortion law, but that hasn't stopped citizens from using the law to sue other people.

Go deeper: HHS issues new protections for Texas abortion providers, patients

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