BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that he is hopeful the new conservative majority on the Supreme Court created during his and President Donald Trump’s administration will soon overturn abortion rights in the United States.
Pence spoke at a forum devoted to demographics and family values in Budapest where conservative leaders from central Europe expressed anxieties about falling birthrates in the Western world and discussed ways to reverse the trend.
The Budapest Demographic Summit, which was first held in 2015 and takes place every two years, has become a platform for leaders to denounce migration and urge families to have more children.
“We see a crisis that brings us here today, a crisis that strikes at the very heart of civilization itself. The erosion of the nuclear family marked by declining marriage rates, rising divorce, widespread abortion and plummeting birth rates,” Pence said.
He praised the fact that abortion rates are falling under the conservative anti-migrant Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and voiced hope that things would change in the United States as well.
He recalled that the administration in which he served as vice president appointed 300 conservative judges to the federal courts, including three new justices to the Supreme Court.
“We may well have a fresh start in the cause of life in America,” Pence said. “It is our hope and our prayer that in the coming days, a new conservative majority on the Supreme Court of the United States will take action to restore the sanctity of life in the center of American law.”
It is a pivotal time for abortion rights in the United States. Republican-led state legislatures have enacted increasingly restrictive laws and the Supreme Court’s conservative majority recently allowed a Texas law banning most abortions to go into effect.
The court is due next to consider a Mississippi ban on most abortions after 15 weeks.
Anti-abortion activists hope that the court will use that case to overturn a 1973 case, Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision which ensured a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion.