Mike Pence, Crafting 2024 Run, Seizes Opportunity on Abortion

Former Vice President Mike Pence's political advocacy group issued a statement on Saturday about the 49th anniversary of 1973's Roe v. Wade saying it "hopefully will be the last."

Advancing American Freedom (AAF) marked the anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision on abortion rights by pledging to work end abortions in the U.S. The Supreme Court is currently weighing abortion cases that could be pivotal.

Pence has seized on the issue of abortion as speculation has swirled about his potential presidential ambitions for 2024 and the possibility he could challenge former President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination.

The AAF Pro-Life Task Force sent an email to subscribers on Friday saying that the battle anti-abortion activists "have been fighting for so long might finally see victory."

"But overturning Roe doesn't mean that the pro-life movement can declare victory. It will mean our fight is just beginning," AAF said.

"The end of Roe just means that the power to decide our nation's laws about abortion shifts from the hands of nine justices back to the citizens of every state in the union," the group added.

AAF outlined three steps the group will take to oppose abortion, including submitting amicus briefs to the courts when "pro-life laws come under judicial scrutiny" and filing lawsuits if President Joe Biden's administration tries to "divert your taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion."

"And when the fight comes to each state, we'll be ready with the policy agenda and grassroots armies needed to secure pro-life victories," the group said.

"This is a critical moment for the pro-life movement in America. As you can see, we are ready to fight for life, but we can't do it without your support," the email said before making a fundraising appeal.

The message may be an indication that AAF, where Pence serves as chairman, could ratchet up its activities in a crucial midterm election year. AAF submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court earlier this month opposing the Biden administration's vaccine mandate.

AAF's email comes a day after Pence was revealed as the keynote speaker at a fundraising dinner for a Christian pregnancy center in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

South Carolina is the second state to hold a presidential primary and the first to hold a primary in the South. The primary season begins with the Iowa caucuses followed by the New Hampshire primary.

Pence will speak at the Carolina Pregnancy Center in May in an appearance similar to other events the former vice president has participated in since his first public address since leaving office.

During the 2016 election cycle, Republican candidates including Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and businesswoman Carly Fiorina all made appearances at the Carolina Pregnancy Center.

Abortion is potentially a key issue in any Pence presidential campaign and he weighed in on the matter in November before the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

The Court has not yet issued an opinion on that case, which entails a direct challenge to the precedent set in Roe.

Pence said on November 30, 2021 that he hoped Roe would be thrown on the "ash heap of history."

"Life is winning in America, but now we need life to win in the highest court in the land," he said.

The former vice president spoke at a dinner held by conservative lobby group the Palmetto Family in Columbia, South Carolina on April 29, 2021 in what was widely viewed as the beginning of an undeclared presidential bid.

Neither pence nor Trump has officially declared that they will run for the GOP presidential nomination but speculation about Pence's intentions has been rife since his appearance in South Carolina in April.

Mike Pence Speaks About Abortion
Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the National Press Club on November 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. Pence's political advocacy group has pledged to work to end abortion in the U.S. Drew Angerer/Getty Images