POLITICS

Mike Pence calls for stricter abortion laws, strengthening military during Utah visit

Sep 20, 2022, 5:13 PM | Updated: 9:48 pm

OREM, Utah — Former Vice President Mike Pence says his roadmap to restoring American freedoms includes more stringent abortion laws and strengthening the U.S. military.

Pence visited Utah Tuesday to speak to a packed audience of more than 700 students and community members at Utah Valley University’s Gary R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy Fall Forum.

“We gather at a challenging time in the life of this country,” Pence said. “In so many ways, America is a nation in crisis.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Utah Valley University in Orem on Tuesday. Pence visited the Beehive State Tuesday to speak to a packed audience at Utah Valley University’s Gary R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy Fall Forum. (Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

He pointed to the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, crime, national debt, “borders under siege,” “erosion of the nuclear family” and the importance of protecting and restoring “American freedoms.”

It was the last point that Pence focused on the most throughout the duration of his speech.

“We need to advance the cause of freedom at the state level in every state in America,” Pence said, before laying out his roadmap to preserving and restoring freedoms.

Pence spoke further about state freedoms on KSL Newsradio’s Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson.

“Part of the genius of the American founding was this system of federalism where the states became laboratories of American democracy and innovation,” he said on Inside Sources.

The first stop on that roadmap, Pence said, is to restore the principle of valuing human life, both born and unborn.

“(After) 50 years of lives of incalculable value ended before they were born, today at long last, Roe vs. Wade has been sent to the ash heap of history where it belongs and the American people have been given a new beginning for life,” Pence said.

Despite previously advocating for less federal oversight, he followed this with a call to not “rest or relent” until the “sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in every state in the land.”

Students protest as former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Utah Valley University in Orem on Tuesday. Pence visited the Beehive State Tuesday to speak to a packed audience at Utah Valley University’s Gary R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy Fall Forum. (Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

Pence also emphasized the importance of freedom of speech and religion, saying that they must be protected for every American.

He pointed to increased hostility toward those who hold religious beliefs.

“We live in a day in age when in the name of tolerance, we encounter some of the least tolerant rhetoric in America,” Pence said. “We have to defend the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech of every American in the courts and in the public square.”

He told Matheson that wants Americans to be reminded of the principles that made America.

“This country is unique, it’s special, it was founded on the idea that we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s what we have to go back to,” Pence said on Inside Sources.

While speaking about immigration, Pence recalled the story of his grandfather, Richard Michael Cawley, immigrating to the U.S. in 1923.

“I don’t just get it, I lived it,” Pence said, reflecting on a conversation he had with former President George W. Bush.

“We have an obligation as Americans to fix this broken immigration system, so it works for Americans and for those who desire to come here under the law and live the American dream, just like my grandfather and my family has.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen Pence, and former Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and wife Jeanette Herbert wave to attendees at Utah Valley University in Orem on Tuesday. Pence visited the Beehive State to speak to a packed audience at Utah Valley University’s Gary R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy Fall Forum. (Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

He also talked about education and the essential role it plays in American culture. Specifically, he urged the restoration of “patriotic education” in America’s classrooms.

“Help them understand that we are not a perfect union, but we are maybe the only nation on earth that has strived and become a more perfect union,” Pence said.

He told Matheson that he believes that parents want education not to be political, but still able to recognize America’s shortcomings.

“We been through a bloody Civil War, to make that a reality, but then it would be generations later in the Civil Rights Movement that we continue to advance that principle,” Pence said on Inside Sources.

Speaking to the struggling economy, the former vice president called for a revival of free market principles and unleashing free enterprise.

“We know how to fix the economy,” Pence said. “You let the American people keep more of what they earn, you lower taxes on American businesses so they can compete with businesses around the world. They’re able to bring jobs back to America, then you unleash American energy, roll back red tape, take three steps back and the American economy will boom again, just as it did before.”

Finally, Pence said that “we must” renew American leadership on the world stage and “project American strength.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Utah Valley University in Orem on Tuesday. Pence visited the Beehive State to speak to a packed audience at Utah Valley University’s Gary R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy Fall Forum. (Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

“The U.S. military is the greatest force for good the world has ever known,” he said. “We must stand strong in the great power competition with the Chinese Communist Party and a resurgent Russia with a military fit for the task.”

He called for redoubling America’s investment in readiness and modernization of military technology, ending the focus at the Pentagon on “political indoctrination over (the) preparedness of our military” and giving soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guard and the Space Force “the resources that they need to be as dominant on earth and sky and sea and space as America has ever been.”

He commended the Herbert Institute for the work it is doing to advance these ideas.

“Americans want a nation of more opportunity for all, they want to restore American leadership in the world and the American people are proud of our traditional American culture and want to see it strengthened and preserved,” Pence said.

You can watch Pence’s full speech below, and listen to his full interview with Inside Sources on their website.

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Mike Pence calls for stricter abortion laws, strengthening military during Utah visit