Sep 3, 2020
Mike Pence Speech Right to Life Event Transcript September 3
VP Mike Pence spoke during a Right to Life rally in North Carolina on September 3. He called Donald Trump “the most pro-life President in the history of the United States”. Read the transcript of the event here.
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… fantastic. He’s so polite. He’s so wonderful. Okay. So you might’ve heard about plagiarizing, and I’m just here to apologize to you for that. But here we are on the second stop of our Life is Winning tour, LIFE Wins! tour. I’d like to hear from you a little bit about what that means, Life is Winning. Or why would you say so?
Mike Pence: (00:46)
Well first, thank you for that overly generous introduction, especially mentioning my wife and my family. But I want to give all of you an opportunity to join me in thanking Marjorie Dannenfelser.
Mike Pence: (01:00)
I can honestly say I was for Marjorie Dannenfelser before it was cool. We knew each other back in the days that I was in Congress, and I saw her strong leadership for life then. I got to see the way that the Susan B. Anthony List has grown. I see the impact that it’s had in electing and reelecting, principled men and women who stand for the sanctity of life across the country. I just want to thank you. And I want to thank everyone involved. The Susan B. Anthony List is the most effective advocate for the right to life in the United States of America, and you should all be proud.
Mike Pence: (01:57)
Life is Winning in America. It’s winning in State Houses and in the Congress. Before I go too far there, let me just bring greetings from someone who I just spoke to. I told him I was here at a great pro-life event in North Carolina. So I need to bring greetings from the most pro-life President in the history of the United States. I bring greetings from the President, Donald Trump.
Mike Pence: (02:29)
With strong support of the Susan B. Anthony List we elected this President and this team in 2016. I just know in my heart of hearts that come November 3rd, we’re going to reelect President Donald Trump for four more years.
Mike Pence: (02:44)
Principled men and women like those that are gathered with us today, when you wrote, and we say Life is Winning in America, it’s given expression in a variety of ways. Certainly in the White House, but in the Congress in the United States. Let me just say how grateful we are for the strong leadership for life of the Senator Tom Tillis, Richard Hudson, Mark Walker, Ted Budd, Dan Bishop, Greg Murphy, all the great members of the delegation for representing North Carolina in Washington D.C. And having been a Governor of my home state of Indiana, I’m a little partial to Governors. I think it’s time North Carolina had a pro-life Governor. I’m going to ask you to elect Dan Forest as the next Governor and Mark Robinson as the next Lieutenant Governor. Would you guys stand up? Stand up and take a bow, please. So I think, Marjorie, Life is Winning and Susan B. Anthony List is an organization that mobilizes grassroots, pro-life Americans all across the country. Here in North Carolina and all 50 states. But I also think, Life is Winning in so many other ways.
Mike Pence: (04:17)
That wonderful daughter of mine, Charlotte Pence Bond, who just got married this last December, her husband’s a navy pilot and he’s deployed. I couldn’t be more proud that they’re part of this rising generation.
Mike Pence: (04:34)
I see the young people that are gathered with us today. The truth is that by one measure or another, it’s undeniable more and more young people today are embracing life. I believe the rising generation is the pro-life generation and [inaudible 00:04:52] It’s been because with the support of Susan B. Anthony List, we’ve elected men and women at every level that supported life. We’ve enlisted a rising generation that’s embracing life as never before, in the history of this movement. But I just came from a place that I think is at the very center of how we’d make progress in this movement. Its Gateway Women’s Care in Raleigh. It’s part of a network of what we’ve always called crisis pregnancy centers.
Mike Pence: (05:34)
I met with two young women who are actually with us here today. One who chose life four years ago, and one who came into that center and decided to choose life and will have her little baby girl next month. These are incredibly inspiring young people. They’re a part of literally thousands and thousands of young women here in North Carolina, and literally hundreds of thousands across America who have walked into a crisis pregnancy center and not been met with judgment or a certain prognosis, but they’ve been met with love and compassion. And I truly do believe that organizations like Gateway, crisis pregnancy centers across the land have been putting hands and feet on our faith. And they’re driving a victory for life straight from the heart. That’s why Life is Winning.
So you wondered why I wrote this book on the topic of all the care that pregnancy centers have given across the country, this is a study that shows that in just one year, 2 million people have been helped. $270 million worth of services volunteered, given to women at those crucial places in time. I was told that this is the first copy from Charlotte Lozier Institute, and I’m supposed to give it to you.
Mike Pence: (06:58)
Wow. That’s great.
And so, one of the most important things that your administration has done, is the transformation of the Federal Courts. Without that, there is no spring time for life. Without that, there will not be laws that save lives. And there’s nothing greater that could have been done, and now it needs to continue. Also, I just want to point out, you may not know, but I think this is one of the most poignant moments that I can remember in this life, was you breaking the tie vote, which is your job as the Vice President of the Senate ensuring that Title 10 was defunded. Planned Parenthood was defunded of family planning dollars. And that was quite a moment, wasn’t it?
Mike Pence: (08:04)
Being the Chair in the United States Senate, or when you serve as President of the Senate, I had the privilege of casting a tie breaking vote that allowed every state in the country to defund Planned Parenthood. It was a great privilege to me, but it meant even more when President Donald Trump signed it into law. That’s the difference. [inaudible 00:08:26] But thank you.
So there were several promises that you and the President made at the beginning of this administration. And you set out to first, surround yourself with the most pro-life professionals in every department, including at the White House. And you got to work. Those promises were the central organizing principle of our whole campaign to elect you and the President. And we’re doing that again. Keeping your promises is something that is relatively new in politics. And I want to thank you for, namely all that. I’d like to ask you to give some advice for people concerned that the momentum might slow. And what is the biggest obstacle to that momentum, especially in the next handful of days where we will decide our new President.
Mike Pence: (09:24)
Well, first let me speak to the importance of promises made and promises kept. Many people remember about this time four years ago, that candidate Donald Trump published a list of men and women that he would select from, if appointments were to arise on the Supreme Court of the United States. And as you said, President Donald Trump kept his word and will very soon to be publishing a new list. And I promise you, they’re all going to be principled men and women who will uphold all the God given liberties enshrined in our declaration and our Bill of…
Mike Pence: (10:03)
God given liberties enshrined in our declaration and our bill of rights. I promise you. But beyond that, and I want to thank one person here in particular. As I stand before you today, this president has actually appointed more than 200 principal conservatives to our federal courts at every level, including Justice Neal Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh. None of that would have been possible without the strong and principal support of Senator Tom Tillis. Senator, thank you for your stand. Would you mind standing up and taking a bow? Senator Tom Tillis. So appreciate you, senator.
Mike Pence: (10:49)
But to see more than the 200 conservatives appointed to our courts, it’s a legacy. It’s a legacy after this president’s service is done in a little more than four years. It will be a legacy that literally lives on for generations with lifetime appointments to our courts.
Mike Pence: (11:07)
But to your point, there were several decisions by the Supreme Court that should mobilize and motivate people in this movement that we need to do more. There was that five-four decision in the case of the Louisiana pro-life law. This was a law the likes of which we passed in the state of Indiana. It was remarkable to think that a common sense measure like saying that a doctor in an abortion clinic should also be required to have admitting privileges at the nearest hospital, that that would be seen as some kind of a barrier. A barrier in the law was extraordinary. But the Supreme Court voted by five to four to strike down the Louisiana law. I think people in this movement can only draw one conclusion. We need more conservatives on the Supreme Court of the United States. We need four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House.
I love talking about Charlotte because she is emblematic-
Mike Pence: (12:17)
So do I.
Emblematic of, I think, the future of the pro-life movement. I believe has Roe falls and laws pass, and women and children are served, it’s the people like Charlotte that will usher in this whole America that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes. Also there are people out there in the blue shirts, many of them are very young. They are the door to door heroes and champions in this battleground state of North Carolina.
I just wonder… Yes.
Mike Pence: (12:51)
Thank you. I’m proud of you.
And there are a few around my age too. I’m grateful. But my particular reason I’m raising this is to ask your advice to this generation. Do you have any council advice, words of wisdom for this crowd?
Mike Pence: (13:08)
I would just say to have faith. Have faith in the American people that when, with compassion, with principle, we continue to bring the cause of life before the American people. You’re going to see with this rising generations demonstrating every day, you’re going to see more and more people stand by the right to life. I think of those words in our founding document, we believe the word, down by our creator with certain unalienable rights. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I truly do believe that the principle that every life is sacred is literally at the center of the American experiment. If you go by the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC, you’ll see literally inscribed on a wall, a quote that I can paraphrase. But what Thomas Jefferson said, he spoke about life as a gift. And then he said, “I tremble for my nation when I think that God is just, and his justice does not rest forever.” If we forget that life is [inaudible 00:14:29]. But this generation is rising back and reclaiming that principle, that every life is sacred. And I just encourage you to have faith. Have faith in your neighbors and friends. And when we come with compassion, when we come with truth, when we come alongside young women, as so many of the generous supporters here have done in so many different ways that are facing crisis pregnancies, that we’ll win this cause.
Mike Pence: (15:01)
I truly do believe that this rising generation will be the generation that sees us restore the sanctity of life back to the center of American law. And so I encourage you to believe in that. And also have that other kind of faith too, that when we make life our cause, that we make his cause on this earth our own, the author of life. The one who said, “Before you were formed in the womb, I knew you.” Will fight alongside us. It will touch hearts and minds and we’ll restore the right to life. We’ll restore the right to life to the center of our nation’s laws.
That’s right. We will. We will. I love what comes from your heart. It’s really reflected in our own. I want to ask you on a more tragic note to talk to me a little bit about your and the president’s view of the topic that came up because of the governor in North Carolina and the governor in Virginia and the governor of New York, all failing to take a stand for that child born accidentally alive and providing just basic care like any other child at that stage would receive. What that is in terms of the importance to you and the president and then also how you this is a clarity moment?
Mike Pence: (16:56)
You may not know that, Marjorie, I actually started out in politics as a Democrat. I was the youth Democrat party coordinator in 1975 in Columbus, Indiana. It was kind of a big deal. But I have to tell you that as I came of age in college and understood the principles and the values on which I was raised, I joined the Republican party. I heard in the voice of my second favorite president, Ronald Reagan, an unapologetic commitment to a strong national defense, to free market economics, but an unapologetic commitment to the right to life.
Mike Pence: (17:52)
I’ve never forgotten the fact that, as he was running for reelection in 1984, President Reagan actually wrote a book on one topic and it was the sanctity of life. A book very much in concert with the book that you just wrote and gave me the privilege to write a forward.
Yes, we do have one for you.
Mike Pence: (18:13)
Gosh, I’ve already got one, but it’s a wonderful book. To think about that. That’s what drew me to this party. And I think it’s what’s drawing many pro life Americans to the Republican party today because to your point, the democratic party has become the party of abortion on demand, late term abortion, taxpayer funding of abortion. And you even had a governor of the state of Virginia that actually openly defended infanticide on a radio broadcast. You had Democrats in the state legislature, in the state of New York, who were cheering at the passage of a bill that allowed for a baby to be born right up until the moment of birth.
Mike Pence: (18:59)
And then here in North Carolina, I know you actually had a governor that vetoed a bill that outlaw late term abortion. That’s when North Carolina needs a pro life governor. We need Dan Forest in the governor’s office. Because the Democratic party, in a very real sense, is given way. And you see that in their standard bearer, Joe Biden.
Mike Pence: (19:28)
For years and years, Joe Biden, throughout his career, while he embraced abortion rights, he always professed he personally pro life and he opposed tax payer funding of abortion. The man that I had the privilege to serve with, an incredible lion of the right to life, the late Henry Hyde wrote a famous amendment decades ago that Republicans and many Democrats agreed on. It came to be known as the Hyde Amendment, and it essentially said, you couldn’t use taxpayer funding to pay for abortions.
Mike Pence: (20:02)
Couldn’t use taxpayer funding to pay for abortions in America and you all deserve to know that Joe Biden supported the Hyde amendment throughout his career. That was up until about a year ago when he abandoned that and now Joe Biden supports taxpayer funding abortion all the way up to birth. In fact, Joe Biden and his running mate are calling for historic increases in funding to the largest abortion provider in America, Planned Parenthood. And it’s just one more example of how dramatic this choice is because from the outset of our administration, I couldn’t be more proud, Marjorie, that this president in our first few days re-instituted what’s known as the Mexico City policy, which ensured that no taxpayer dollars would ever be spent to provide or promote abortion anywhere in the world.
Mike Pence: (21:01)
And then President Trump expanded it, with the strong support our Secretary of State and his team, we actually expanded the Mexico City policy. And this great delegation supported that effort. That bill, you mentioned before, the president signed into law that allowed every state in the country to defund Planned Parenthood. The appointment of strong principled men and women to our courts at every level. So the choice and has never been clearer and for those of us who cherish life, Joe, those of us who cherish the extraordinary progress that we’ve made in this movement, the stakes have never been higher. So I just would encourage everyone and all those that might be looking on from afar, now, more than ever, for life, we need to stand with the president. We need to stand with senators. We need to stand with congressmen, state legislatures and every man and woman everywhere in this country who’s willing to stand for life on November 3rd.
I think it’s true that we might not ever get this chance back. If we lose, which is a terrible thing to think about, and law evolves from there to presume upon the future and think that we’ll ever get the shot again is unwise. So, just a handful of days, a handful of us and a handful of states and lives in the future are decided, right?
I’m really interested in your thoughts about the difference between the Republican and Democratic conventions this time around on the topic of life. Maybe compare that to the old days of the Republican Party and Democratic Party.
Mike Pence: (22:45)
Well, I didn’t watch that much of the Democrat National Convention. But I watched as much as I could. I mean, it was like a liberal HR Zoom meeting, wasn’t it?
Mike Pence: (23:06)
On this point, I actually last weekend I called Abby Johnson, who’s a heroic American. She’s made an incredible difference for life. A woman that actually worked managing a Planned Parenthood clinic, but then a friend came alongside ministered to her, the Lord got ahold of her heart, and now she’s one of the great champions for life in America. And she spoke at the Republican National Convention and told her story on national television and one speaker after another spoke about the cause of life and I think that it all proceeds out. You know, I’m a little bit biased. Some people think the president and I are a little bit different.
Just a little.
Mike Pence: (23:58)
But we’ve actually gotten to be very close friends, and I’ll tell you what, he’s a man of his word and what he says he does and he set the tone. He set the tone for the cause of life from the beginning of this administration.
Mike Pence: (24:12)
I’ll never forget the day, it was that first month that we were in office, the president was invited to address the March for Life in Washington, DC and he was unable to do it because the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was coming that day and I remember we were you’re just in office a couple of weeks and I was standing next to the resolute desk in the Oval Office and he said, “Yeah, you know, I’m not going to be able to deliver a message,” and he was disappointed. And I looked at him kind of shyly and I said, “Well, you know, they invited me too,” and he looked up at me and he said, “They invited you to speak?” And I said, ” Yeah.” And he said, “I mean, do you want to do it?” And I said, “Well, my family went to a lot of March for Life. I’ve spoken to many times. I’ve had that privilege as a Congressman and when I was running for governor.” And he said, “Well, you should definitely go.” and I said, “Go to the March?” He said, “Yeah, go.” And that set into motion, I had the privilege of being the first vice president in history of this country to address a March for Life on the National Mall.
Mike Pence: (25:39)
If you didn’t notice, earlier this year, President Donald Trump addressed the March for Life in person on the National Mall. This president, this vice president stand for the right to life.
Mike Pence: (25:58)
So the RNC reflected that, but really it comes straight out of this president’s heart and he’s unafraid unapologetically pro-life, I promise you.
So let me tell you an angle of why you’re so great that you may not have meditated on yet. And it has to do with this comparison that we saw, because I actually saw at least some of the very dark basement DNC Convention, the word abortion wasn’t mentioned once. In the Republican Convention, it was highlighted in bold and embraced, woven into speeches that weren’t even intended to discuss the issue at all. That contrasted a lot to me, doesn’t it to you that they are burying it, we are highlighting it. It’s a flip from maybe a handful of years ago when the Republican Party wasn’t doing that and it’s because of you and the president. No other reason. You have been bold and highlighted it in a way that the beauty it has been seen. I’m so grateful. Thank you.
Mike Pence: (27:05)
Well, you’re very kind, but I think what’s telling about their convention, by your account, is it didn’t talk much about it. And truthfully, I have to tell you folks, and you need to tell this to your Democrat friends here in North Carolina, Joe Biden and the Democratic Party have been overtaken by the radical left. And you see that in one issue after another and I think it’s the reason why last… The parts of the Democratic National Convention I saw were equal parts of attacking America and attacking our American president. They really didn’t talk very much about their agenda. I give Bernie Sanders some credit because he did. Bernie Sanders actually said on national television, that many of the issues that were considered radical just a short time ago are now mainstream in the Democratic Party. And that’s the difference, that’s the choice the American people are facing here and it’s nowhere more dramatic and nowhere more important than regarding the sanctity of life.
That’s right. So I’m going to ask you about the president, the heart of the president and I’m asking this as a convert and he is a convert to this cause as well. I remember you telling stories about when you and Karen first met him, you came into his life at the particularly perfect moment to be a strong pro-life friend and ally in many ways. Tell us a little bit about the president and his heart for this and your conversations with him on this. Any insight you can give?
Mike Pence: (28:58)
Well, I always tell people that to know President Trump is to know someone whose word is his bond. I’ve been in a number of conversations, and these members of Congress have as well, where issues will be discussed and ideas brought up but the conversation stops when the president says, “Well, I told people that’s what we were going to do.” And he does it. And I must tell you, Marjorie, you said in politics things get, shall we say flexible. I think it was a famous speaker of the house who said, “I am a man of principle and my first principle is flexibility.” With this president, with the promises that he’s made to the American people, whether it be life, whether it be less taxes, whether it be standing with the men and women of our armed forces or whether it be standing without-
Mike Pence: (30:03)
… men women of our armed forces, or whether it be standing without apology with the men and women who serve in law enforcement everywhere in every city and every town, he’s a man of his word.
Mike Pence: (30:16)
And I think it’s not necessarily related, but as we gather here in a house of worship, it might be just as important to people, but it was four previous administrations that promised to move the American embassy to Jerusalem. But every administration, Republican and Democrat presidents, changed their mind. They listened to people that said, well, it can’t be done, or the cost will be too high, or the risk is too great. But, once again, it was this president who gave his word to the American people and our most cherished ally, and it was President Donald Trump who moved the American embassy to Jerusalem, the capitol of the state of Israel.
Mike Pence: (31:16)
And despite all the detractors, it’s laid a foundation for widening peace in the Middle East. You all saw that for the first time in 26 years, an Arab country recognized the Jewish state of Israel.
Mike Pence: (31:28)
Now, we think it’s very well possible that there’s more to come, but it all began with the president who says what he means and means what he says. And I want to promise you everybody in this movement for life, whether it be judicial appointments, whether it be working with legislators to advance the cause of life, whether it be working with great future governors to support the cause of life at every level across this country, this president, this vice president, we’re going to keep our word. We’re going to keep our word for life.
Mike Pence: (32:04)
Yeah. Thank you.
I’ve seen you over these years as you’ve been in the White House help him be the person that he decided he was going to be. And I think that is a beautiful thing for all potential and real converse. When I said I want to be pro-life, I, honestly, wasn’t even sure what that looked like. But friends came alongside me, as you’ve come alongside this president, and a spirit of humble partnership is just a beautiful model. And I’m so grateful for that. Thank you.
Mike Pence: (32:45)
You and Karen bear quite a load day to day. I don’t even know how anybody keeps up with you and the pace. You still have exactly the same hair you used to have. You don’t have any new lines on your face. It’s kind of amazing.
But I know it’s not easy. You and Karen, what can we pray for you? We will all take it seriously, I believe, here. And I will remind our teams to do that as well who are going door to door.
Mike Pence: (33:22)
Well, the answer to your question is really in the question of that is the secret to my success is my faith in Christ, and I married the most amazing woman in the world 35 years ago. My wife, Karen, deeply committed to the cause of life. In her own right, has traveled around Indiana supporting crisis pregnancy center movements, and would bundle our kids up when they were little, and we’d head to the National Mall for the March for Life. And she’s just an amazing person, school teacher, pilot, and an incredible Second Lady of the United States.
Mike Pence: (34:21)
Your question is a lovely one, and I thank you for it, because the sweetest words I ever hear are when people will stop and say, “I’m praying for you.” And I hear it a lot. And you always know when people mean it. You can tell. And I always answer the question you asked the exact same way, and that is I know the President knows and I know that this is a nation of faith. People take very seriously into heart to pray for those in positions of authority. I know the Senator feels that way. I know these great Congressman feel that way. Your Lieutenant Governor feels that way, and Mark does as well. We feel those prayers every day.
Mike Pence: (35:11)
But to your point, I always ask people to just pray for my family. And my wife does incredible service working with military families, spouses. She’s done incredible work working with ministries around the country to confront the scourge of veteran suicide in this country. She has an event today. She just really been remarkable.
Mike Pence: (35:37)
But also I’d be grateful if you pray for our kids. I’m the proud father of the United States Marine Captain, Michael J. Pence, who married way up four years ago. His incredible wife, Sarah. They live in Arizona where they’re stationed, and my son flies high performance aircraft, and we couldn’t be more proud of him.
Mike Pence: (36:08)
And then you mentioned my daughter, Charlotte. She’s an author, and a pro-life activist in her own right, and a writer. And she got married to a Navy Lieutenant who’s currently deployed with the United States Navy, and they’re wonderful people. And our youngest daughter is a recent graduate of law school, and like a lot of families, she and her fiance, Dan, had to put off their wedding a couple of times this summer. But we really can’t wait for him to join the family.
Mike Pence: (36:38)
So if you think of your Vice President and you think of remembering us in prayers, we’d be grateful if you just remember that amazing wife of mine and those amazing kids, because to know the Pences is to know family. And we all feel called to this service, and we couldn’t but do it without the Lord and each other. So I’d be grateful if you prayed for them as well.
Mike Pence: (37:09)
And you’ve got it all in the right order. Thank you for that model for all of us.
I think unfortunately our time has come to a close. I see all zeroes down there. That means our time is up, but what a beautiful time that you shared with all of us. Thank you for your generosity of spirit, this second stop on the Life Wins tour. I think I’ll see you again in Pennsylvania next week. You probably have 4000 stops before that, but we are all grateful, I know, for the most pro-life vice president ever in the history of the United States. Thank you, Mike Pence, for being that man.
Mike Pence: (37:55)
Thank you, [Margaret 00:00:37:49]. God bless you all.