Pence calls on US Supreme Court to take up 'selective' abortion

Washington (AFP) - US Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to take up a case about abortions based on sex, race or potential disability of the fetus, after the high court sidestepped the issue.

While serving as governor of Indiana, Pence had signed into law a ban on so-called "selective" abortions. A lower court struck it down, and earlier Tuesday, the US Supreme Court opted not to weigh in until lower courts do so.

Pence's office released a statement saying it remained "hopeful that at a later date the Supreme Court will review one of numerous state laws across the US that bar abortion based on sex, race, or disability."

"Countries across the globe prohibit selective abortion -- and the United States should do the same," said the statement from Pence's press secretary Alyssa Farah.

Pence's remarks follow moves by legislatures in several Republican-led states to restrict access to abortion in a bid to eventually challenge the 1973 US Supreme Court ruling in Roe vs Wade, which made abortion legal nationwide.

Since taking office, President Donald Trump has appointed two conservative justices -- Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh -- and liberal members of the court are now outnumbered five to four.