At a luncheon hosted by anti-abortion election group Susan B. Anthony in Nashville, Tennessee, Pence predicted that legal abortion would end in the U.S. “in our time.”
“I know in my heart of hearts this will be the generation that restores life in America,” Pence told the luncheon’s attendees. “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.”
Pence’s comments aren’t at all surprising, given his anti-abortion record as former governor of Indiana. However, his belief that the end of legal abortion somehow “restores the sanctity of life” seems to completely ignore the dangerous, life-threatening procedures women who do not have access to legal, safe abortions will undergo to induce an abortion.
Studies have shown that criminalizing abortion doesn’t stop them from happening, and that the rate of abortion in countries that criminalize them is higher than in countries where abortion is legal. According to the Guttmacher Institute, an estimated 200,000 to 1.2 million illegal abortions were performed in the 1950s and ’60s, decades before the 1973 Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion. In 1965, an estimated 200 women died from illegal abortion complications, with illegal abortion accounting for 17 percent of all deaths attributed to pregnancy and childbirth that year.
It would appear that Pence’s psychic powers have no concept of the past, which his premonition would force us to repeat.
Across Twitter, abortion access advocates lambasted the vice president’s “prediction,” flat-out rejecting the mere thought of criminalized abortion.
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
This is what the VP of the USA said, “Abortion will end in U.S. 'in our time'.” I say not on our watch. Women will choose for themselves, their bodies and their families. https://t.co/LyLHQO15Y6— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) February 28, 2018
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
I hope the same generation that is going to remove the option of owning assault rifles also speaks out against the regulation of women's bodies by old, white men in politics. https://t.co/MAWWjYlhLV— Jodi Picoult (@jodipicoult) February 28, 2018
Others criticized Pence’s total disregard for women and his inability to understand how criminalizing abortion will only cause abortion-seekers to turn to desperate measures.
“Safe abortions will end in our time” – I fixed it https://t.co/VWTCSehi4F— Allie (@WisKanSass) February 28, 2018
Those 2 pieces of information, the fact that RNC finance chair Steve Wynn has been accused of rape, & Mike Pence believes abortion will end "in out time" really tells you all you need to know about the GOP's attitude toward women.— Emily L. Hauser אלה אסתר (@emilylhauser) February 27, 2018
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
But some took Pence’s sour assertion and turned it into idealized future for all people—that, hey, maybe legal abortion will end because the U.S. will have unlimited access to contraception and accurate sex education!
Has Mike Pence ever spent a moment of his time trying to eliminate the NEED for abortion through comprehensive sex-ed, birth control access, and poverty alleviation programs? Probably not.— RMenhen (@rmenhen) February 28, 2018
Pence, who has a history degree, really tried with this one, but you can’t rewrite past.