He was the first sitting vice president to speak at the March for Life, and Mike Pence marked another milestone Wednesday by becoming the first to visit a pro-life pregnancy clinic as he joined the Susan B. Anthony List to kick off a multistate tour called “Life Wins.”
Mr. Pence toured A Woman’s Place Medical Clinic, part of New Life Solutions, which offers prenatal care, counseling and free ultrasounds — but not abortions — before he spoke at the Starkey Road Baptist Church in Largo, Florida.
“You know, the pro-life movement doesn’t just talk the talk — you walk the walk,” Mr. Pence said. “I saw a wonderful clinic, heard about all the volunteers that stepped forward along with registered nurses and health care professionals. The place is literally every day bustling with people ready to not just stand for life, but stand with women facing the most difficult circumstances in their lives.”
He said that the New Life Solutions ministry over its 35-year history in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties “has saved 10,000 babies’ lives.” “Thanks to your commitment, for 35 years in this community and in cities and towns across America, I’m proud to report to you that there are now far more pregnancy-care centers than abortion clinics,” Mr. Pence said. “That is progress. And life is winning in America, because of all of you.”
The “Life Wins” tour comes with the Trump administration seeking to draw a sharp contrast between President Trump’s pro-life record and the pro-choice stance of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Like Mr. Pence, Mr. Biden is Catholic, but his position on abortion has shifted leftward over his 50-year political career. He drew headlines last year when he called for repealing the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortions, after decades of supporting it.
“If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s ZIP code,” Mr. Biden tweeted in June 2019.
In January, Mr. Trump became the first sitting president to speak in person at the annual March for Life on the National Mall.
Both pro-life and pro-choice groups are actively campaigning in swing-state Florida. The SBA List said it had 380,000 visits to Florida “educating voters about the stark differences between candidates on abortion.”
“In contrast to the Trump administration’s pro-life leadership, Joe Biden and extremist Democrats advocate abortion on demand through birth, paid for by taxpayers,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Their agenda is radically out of step with the majority of Americans who support common ground limits on abortion, including millions of rank-and-file Democrats and independent voters.”
Pro-choice groups have blasted crisis pregnancy centers, arguing that their “ideologically motivated staff members deceive and manipulate women with dangerous misinformation,” as NARAL Pro-Choice America said in a 2017 report.
President George W. Bush visited a crisis pregnancy center after he left office, and President Ronald Reagan praised such clinics, but Mr. Pence is the first to visit such a center while in office, according to the SBA List.During his visit, Mr. Pence met with one of the center’s patients, Kia Farrell, who said she made an appointment last year with Planned Parenthood after discovering she was pregnant at age 40, but then decided to visit A Woman’s Place for a free sonogram.
After seeing the sonogram, she said, she realized that “I needed to keep the baby.”
“If I hadn’t found A Woman’s Place and the wonderful people there, I probably would have made a different choice,” Ms. Farrell said in a video posted Wednesday by New Life Solutions. “And now I have this beautiful little boy.”
She brought her son, Ollie, to meet the vice president, who declared himself taken with the cheerful toddler.
“I met little Ollie today. He was a healthy and exuberant little boy who will turn 1 year old next week,” Mr. Pence said. “That’s the difference this movement is making, one life at a time, one family at a time.”