'Keep dying on that hill': Mike Pence faces backlash after accusing Trump of betraying GOP with abortion stance

'Keep dying on that hill': Mike Pence faces backlash after accusing Trump of betraying GOP with abortion stance
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence photographed at the White House on April 23, 2020 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC: Former Vice President Mike Pence has taken a bold stance against his ex-boss, former President Donald Trump, accusing him of betraying the Republican Party's commitment to pro-life values by refusing to support a national abortion ban if re-elected in 2024.

In an op-ed published in The New York Times on Saturday, April 20, Pence lamented what he perceives as Trump's retreat from the pro-life cause. He highlighted their significant achievement during their tenure—the overturning of Roe v. Wade—and expressed dismay at Trump's recent statements indicating a reluctance to sign a national abortion ban into law.

Mike Pence's disappointment with Trump's retreat

“Like so many other advocates for life, I was deeply disappointed when Mr Trump stated that he considered abortion to be a state-only issue and would not sign a bill prohibiting late-term abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, even if it came to his desk,” Pence wrote, referencing Trump's remark during a press conference in Georgia two weeks ago.

Trump's assertion that abortion policy should be left to the states has drawn criticism from Pence, who described it as a "slap in the face" to the pro-life movement. Pence highlighted Trump's past commitment to the cause but suggested that the former president is now retreating from that position.

“He is leading other Republicans astray,” Pence bemoaned in the op-ed. 


Pence pointed to Trump ally Kari Lake, a Senate candidate in Arizona, who pledged to oppose a federal ban on late-term abortions, echoing Trump's stance. Pence argued that such wavering among Republican leaders could weaken the party's stance on life issues.

“One recent example is an Arizona Republican running for the U.S. Senate, who followed Trump’s lead and pledged to oppose a federal ban on late-term abortions,” Pence said. “When our leaders aren’t firmly committed to life, others will waver too. Courage inspires imitation. So does weakness.” 

Despite potential electoral consequences, Pence urged Republicans not to shy away from adopting a 15-week "minimum national standard" on abortion. He cited examples of Republican governors who were re-elected despite signing bills limiting abortion, suggesting that voters reward a strong pro-life stance.

"History has proved that when Republicans stand for life without apology and contrast our common-sense positions with the extremism of the pro-abortion left, voters reward us with victories at the ballot box,” Pence wrote, referencing Republican governors like Brian Kemp (Ga.), Greg Abbott (Texas) and Mike DeWine (Ohio) who secured reelection despite signing bills limiting abortion after six weeks.

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 20:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stand with Republican vice
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stands with Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence and acknowledges the crowd on the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016, at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The issue of abortion has been politically potent in recent elections, with many Republicans cautious about backing national abortion restrictions due to concerns about alienating voters. Trump's statement aligning with states' rights on abortion came amid fears within the party that the issue could hurt him politically.

Pence's own history of advocating for abortion restrictions dates back to his time as a congressman from Indiana. As a devout evangelical Christian, Pence has long centered abortion restrictions in his political platform. However, his presidential bid ended in October after failing to gain momentum.

“However much our Republican nominee or other candidates seek to marginalize the cause of life,” the former veep said earlier this month, “I know pro-life Americans will never relent until we see the sanctity of life restored to the center of American law in every state in this country.”

Social media pushback

That said, Pence faced criticism on social media for accusing Trump of betraying the GOP vis-à-vis abortion.

"Good thing nobody listens to Pence except the mid-level news rags," one posted on X.

"Silly Mike," another wrote.

"So is he gonna vote for Biden in protest?" someone else wondered.

"Keep dying on that hill, Mike. It used to be a conservative position to let states decide. Some are not going to agree with you. I doubt most of America agrees with a total ban, but keep going. Would that ban work like the one on drugs? Prohibition? Assault weapons?" another chimed in.








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