Former vice president Mike Pence delivered the commencement address at Patrick Henry College in Virginia on Saturday morning, and took the opportunity to address the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, that would, if implemented, overturn Roe v. Wade.
After declaring that “America is making a comeback,” Pence cited the fact that “five justices on the Supreme Court may soon send Roe v. Wade to the ash heap of history where it belongs,” as evidence. “So be confident,” Pence told the graduating class.
Pence’s speech included a number of references to the political issues and controversies, including inflation, violent crime, the border crisis, and cancel culture. “The loudest voices for tolerance have little tolerance for Christian values,” he observed, before asserting that “I know we’ll win because we already are.”
“From coast to coast, in state after state, patriots and people of faith aren’t just pushing back, they’re taking America back,” added Pence, using Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia, the recall of San Francisco school board members, and truck driver Edward Durr’s defeat of the Democratic majority leader in the New Jersey state senate as examples.
“But maybe most important of all, I think that comeback is becoming clearer with the new conservative majority on the Supreme Court of the United States,” said Pence.
The leaked draft opinion in Dobbs, authored by Justice Samuel Alito, concludes that “the Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey [v. Planned Parenthood.] arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”
No opinion of the Court has yet been issued in the case, but if Alito’s draft becomes the eventual opinion, it would mark the end of nearly 50 years of precedent set by Roe.
A former congressman from and governor of Indiana, Pence has been a longtime opponent of Roe and champion of the pro-life cause.
During the 2020 vice presidential debate with then-Senator Kamala Harris, Pence said he “couldn’t be more proud to serve as vice president to a President who stands on a policy for the sanctity of human life. I’m pro-life. I don’t apologize for it.”