The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision protecting a woman's right to have an abortion was "misguided," but the Supreme Court has the opportunity to "make history" and reverse it, former Vice President Mike Pence is expected to say Tuesday in remarks as the court plans to hear arguments on a Mississippi law banning the procedure after a woman's 15th week of pregnancy.
"We are asking the Court, in no uncertain terms, to make history," Pence is planning to say during remarks at the National Press Club Tuesday, according to prepared remarks obtained by The Hill. "We are asking the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn Roe v. Wade and restore the sanctity of human life to the center of American law."
Conservatives are closely watching the Mississippi case, with the Supreme Court to open arguments on the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization Wednesday.
The state's Gestational Age Act was passed in 2018 but has been blocked by two federal courts. It allows abortion after 15 weeks "only in medical emergencies or for severe fetal abnormality" and has no exception for rape or incest. Under the law, doctors can have their medical licenses suspended or revoked and they may face other penalties or fines if they perform abortions outside those perimeters.
The court's Roe v. Wade decision ruled that abortions are permitted before the fetus' viability, or at around 23 weeks of pregnancy.
Mississippi’s GOP Attorney General Lynn Fitch filed a brief in July arguing that the court should overturn Roe v. Wade.
In his remarks Tuesday, Pence is expected to argue that the Roe decision has "inflicted a tragedy not only on our nation, but on humanity, that is hard to fathom."
He will also comment that countries like France and Spain have restrictions on abortions after 14 weeks, with some exceptions, and that abortion laws written at the state level reflect the public's view more than those coming from court rulings made by unelected judges.
"When the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade — and I believe with all my heart that day will come, either now or in the near future — it will not come as a surprise to anyone," Pence is expected to say. "It will simply be the culmination of a 50-year journey whose course and destination have been set by the will of the American people."
Meanwhile, Advancing American Freedom, Pence's political advocacy group, has joined an amicus brief supporting Mississippi's abortion law.
The former vice president will appear at the National Press Club along with Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, for a talk after his address.
Pence is also expected to highlight former Trump administration policies that restricted funding for abortion, along with steps he took while he was governor of Indiana to limit access to abortions.
Pence has been making several speeches while speculation grows about a potential run for the White House in 2024. He has already spoken in Iowa and South Carolina and will headline an event in New Hampshire next week that will focus on attacking President Joe Biden's economic agenda.
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