ICYMI: POLITICO: Pence leans in on abortion politics

Saturday marks one year since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, revoking the constitutional right to abortion it had established. And ever since, Republicans have been twisting themselves in knots over how to handle the fallout.

Former President Donald Trump avoids talking about the matter almost entirely. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a six-week abortion ban in the middle of the night in April, and has barely spoken about it since. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) originally waffled on whether he’d support a nationwide abortion ban. And former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has been vague about how she’d handle the issue as president.

Then there’s former Vice President Mike Pence.

More than any other Republican candidate, the former vice president has staked his pitch to voters on his unabashed “pro-life” stance.

And this weekend, while Pence is among a parade of 2024 hopefuls addressing evangelical conservatives at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Conference in Washington, he is the only candidate who’ll also speak at the Students for Life rally on the National Mall, in addition to being the only candidate invited to address a nationwide Susan B. Anthony List call for activists commemorating the end of Roe.

— The GOP, Pence said, faces a choice: “Whether or not we’re going to continue to be a party grounded in the conservative principles that have won not only the White House, but won majorities over the last 50 years again and again — or whether our party is going to shy away from those core traditional principles.”

But asked if there should be a litmus test for Republicans to carry the “pro-life” label, Pence suggested they should all be supporting a nationwide abortion ban. “I would expect that pro-life voters around the country would … be looking for men and women willing to stand unambiguously for advancing the cause of the right to life at every level — at the state and federal level.”