Former Vice President Mike Pence told RealClearPolitics that he believes the next Republican president "will not shrink from the fight" to forward nationwide abortion restrictions.
During a Tuesday interview at a Washington, D.C. gala hosted by Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, Pence told the outlet he has "every confidence that the next Republican president, whoever that may be, will stand for the right to life.
"I welcome any and all efforts to advance the cause of life in state capitals or in the nation's capital," he said, adding that it's imperative Republicans don't "shrink from the fight."
Pence, who is seen as a potential Republican contender in the 2024 presidential election, made the comments hours after Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., introduced legislation to prohibit abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
"Abortion is not banned in America. It's left up to elected officials in America to define the issue," Graham said. "States have the ability to do it at state level, and we have the ability in Washington to speak on this issue if we choose.
"I have chosen to speak. I have chosen to craft legislation that I think is eminently reasonable in the eyes of the world, and I hope the American people," he added.
Although opposition to abortion remains popular in the Republican Party, both those seeking a national ban and those pushing for the procedure to be regulated state by state have taken issue with Graham's proposal.
On one side, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters Tuesday that he believes "most of the members of my conference prefer that this be dealt with at the state level," declining to give a set date for a potential vote on the bill.
But other Republicans seeking federal regulations have a problem with the timing of Graham's proposal, as it comes close to the November midterm elections. Asked by RealClearPolitics about the concern, Pence dismissed the wider political framing of abortion.
"I'm convinced that enthusiasm among pro-life Americans in states across the country is equal to, or greater than, any new motivation by people that support abortion rights," the former vice president said.
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