Former Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday it is his “hope and prayer” the Supreme Court his administration helped appoint will soon overturn abortion rights, the Associated Press reports, one of a slew of Republican politicians who are highlighting a challenge to Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban now before the Court as their best chance to restrict abortion nationwide.
Speaking in front of Hungary’s conservative Budapest Demographic Summit, Pence praised the declining abortion rates under that country’s far-right government and said the U.S. “may well have a fresh start” when it comes to abortion.
The former vice president pointed to the “new conservative majority” in the U.S. Supreme Court—due to the three justices the Trump administration appointed—to suggest the court could “take action” against abortion.
The court will hear a case on Mississippi’s abortion law in December that will consider the state’s law but also more broadly whether abortions can be restricted before the fetus is viable—which the court’s precedent in Roe v. Wade prohibits.
Mississippi has asked the court to overturn Roe v. Wade in their ruling, and Republican politicians from far beyond Mississippi have thrown their support behind the court ruling for the state as a result.
22. That’s the number of states that could immediately ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned, according to an analysis by the pro-abortion rights Guttmacher Institute. Some have “trigger laws” that would immediately ban abortion if the court ruling is toppled, for instance, while others have bans on the books from before Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 that could now be enforced again.
The Mississippi case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, is the product of a years-long effort by anti-abortion advocates to get the issue of abortion rights back to the Supreme Court, as state lawmakers have passed a slew of abortion restrictions that go against Roe v. Wade with an eye toward the conservative-leaning court. The Guttmacher Institute reports 1,320 state-level abortion restrictions had been passed since the Roe ruling as of July 1, including 573 since 2011 and 90 just in 2021 alone. Abortion rights advocates have feared reproductive rights could be under threat at the 6-3 conservative court after former President Donald Trump appointed Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, and opposed their confirmations due to the threat they could pose to Roe v. Wade. The Supreme Court case comes after the court already dealt a blow to abortion rights advocates in its recent 5-4 ruling that upheld Texas’ near-total ban on abortion, which went into effect September 1 as the most extreme restrictions to take effect in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade. The court did not rule on the actual constitutionality of that law, however, instead saying it was too soon to bring the legal challenge.
Pence hopeful the Supreme Court will restrict abortion in US (Associated Press)