SPARTANBURG, SC – Former Vice President and staunch anti-abortionist Mike Pence told an audience in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Thursday evening to pray that conservative Supreme Court justices who’ve been targeted by abortion rights protesters stand firm and overturn Roe v. Wade.
“Our Supreme Court has a chance to undo that historic wrong once and for all,” Pence said of the landmark 1973 court decision that legalized abortion.
“Roe must go,” they said to the 1,250 people packed in the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium, the site of the Carolina Pregnancy Center’s annual Spring Gala.
“Life is winning in America,” Pence said. “Democrats would legalize abortion up to birth. Make no mistake about it, Democrats and the radical left will push for more extreme policies as long as Roe v. Wade is the law of the land.”
Meanwhile, outside the auditorium, approximately 150 abortion rights protesters chanted and held up signs.
Signs included “My body, my choice,” “Honk 4 choice,” “Honk if you support women,” “Not your handmaiden” and “Don’t trust me with a choice – but with a child?”
“I’m here because I don’t believe anybody should have control of my body, but me,” said one protester, University of South Carolina student Jasmine Webber.
Thursday’s event – planned months in advance – came days after a leaked draft was published by Politico, suggesting Roe v. Wade will be overturned by the Supreme Court.
“This has been a momentous week in the cause of life,” Pence said. “I believe with all my heart that life is winning in America. The Supreme Court will not be intimidated.”
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Pence on leak: ‘Undermines the judiciary’
Prior to the event, Pence addressed the leaked draft after touring Carolina Pregnancy Center’s new mobile ultrasound unit.
“The leak of a draft opinion is the Supreme Court of the United States really undermines the judiciary of the United States,“ Pence said. ”I welcome Chief Justice Roberts’ assurance that it will not affect the outcome of the court and I confident that it won’t, “Pence said.
At the event, Pence said he agrees with the content of the draft that states should be the ones to determine abortion’s legality.
Many prominent Republican elected officials and party leaders attended, including the US Sen. Lindsey Graham, whom Pence praised for getting conservative justice appointed to the Supreme Court under former President Donald Trump.
“It is a sad day for the Supreme Court and a dangerous day for the Rule of Law. The radical assault on our institutions and the Constitution itself has reached a new level with the release of a draft opinion on a major issue facing the Court, Graham tweeted Tuesday.
Pence praised South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster for signing into law last year’s fetal heartbeat bill that would ban most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Planned Parenthood sued, and in February, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court ruling that temporarily blocks enforcement of South Carolina’s law.
Protester: Overturning Roe v. Wade ‘would be a tragedy’
“Back in the 1980s, I was a rape crisis director,“ Rev. Jean Batson-Turner of Boiling Springs, South Carolina, said at the protest outside the auditorium. ”I referred to individuals for abortions. They were safe. “
Batson-Turner added: “They were even free for a while. And it is heartbreaking to me to see how far we came and then have to go back so far. We need this to do this for our daughters for our mothers, our grandmothers for everybody. ”
Batson-Turner said the overturning of Roe v. Wade would be “a tragedy.”
“Women’s groups will have to expend energy trying to fight back on that when they need to move forward,” Batson-Turner said.
Alice Sutton, a retired healthcare worker, said the fight over Roe v. Wade “is about freedom.”
“And like now Americans, I believe in freedom, the freedom to choose your own religion, the freedom for women to vote for what we fought for in the early 20th century. The freedom for women to own property, the freedom for us to own our own bodies and to choose the healthcare that is best for us.
“And to stay healthy. If abortion is illegal, a lot of women will die,” Sutton said, adding, “So this is really about freedom and individual choice.”