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Pence joins abortion opponents at Raleigh women's clinic, church

Posted September 1, 2020 11:02 a.m. EDT
Updated September 4, 2020 11:15 a.m. EDT

— Vice President Mike Pence revved up a portion of the Republican base for the upcoming election on Thursday, meeting with abortion opponents at a women's clinic and a church in Raleigh.

After Air Force 2 landed at Raleigh-Durham International Airport shortly before 10:30 a.m., Pence headed to Gateway Women's Care, a pregnancy and sexual health center on Hillsborough Street.

"Life is winning in America," Pence told center officials and clients in a brief meeting. "More young people are embracing a culture of life."

Taryn Roseboro told Pence that she had planned to get an abortion in 2015 but then saw the ultrasound of her son at Gateway.

"Melinda told me, 'You are amazing. You can do anything,'" Roseboro said, referring to Gateway President Melinda Delahoyde. "My son is the joy of my life."

About 50 protesters stood across the street from the center, and the Triangle Abortion Access Coalition also organized a drive-thru rally, with about 30 vehicles circling the block around Gateway. Drivers honked their horns, and they had messages supporting abortion rights painted on the car doors and windows.

"We also just want the community to know we exist, we’re out here," Kelsea McLain said. "This is a big message to people who have had abortions, that there is, like, a huge community that supports and loves you and values you through your choices."

CNN reports Gateway promotes misleading information regarding abortion on its website, specifically the assertion that abortion can lead to breast cancer.

The website reads, "A number of reliable studies have concluded that there is an association between abortion and later development of breast cancer." However, studies linking abortion to breast cancer were found to have flawed methodology.

"Scientific research studies have not found a cause-and-effect relationship between abortion and breast cancer," the American Cancer Society's website says.

Pence then went to Christ Baptist Church on Newton Road in north Raleigh, where he spoke to more than 200 people at “Life Wins! 2020," a multi-state tour sponsored by anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List.

"This rising generation will be the generation that sees us restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law," Pence said, credited young adults for standing up for the rights of the unborn.

According to a poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, a majority of Americans do not want to see the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing abortion overturned. Seventy-nine percent surveyed said an abortion decision should be between women and their doctors.

"The Democratic Party has become the party of abortion on demand, late-term abortion, taxpayer-funded abortion," Pence said, singling out Gov. Roy Cooper. "Here in North Carolina, you actually had a governor that vetoed a bill that would outlaw late-term abortion. That's why North Carolina needs a pro-life governor like Dan Forest."

Forest, the Republican lieutenant governor, is running against Cooper in the November election. He and other GOP politicians, including U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, traveled with Pence for much of the day.

Pence described President Donald Trump as a warrior in the anti-abortion movement, saying his selection of judges proves it.

"I think people in this movement can only draw one conclusion: We need more conservatives on the Supreme Court. We need four more years of Donald Trump in the White House," he said.

Brooke Larkin with Students for Life, who attended the "Life Wins" event called Pence "the most pro-life vice president" in U.S. history.

"He is truly pro-life for all of life, and he's very vocal about that," Larkin said.

She and other attendees said they see abortion as a defining issue in the election.

"I'm huge on the pro-life issue. I really think it's important for us Black Americans – really as just Americans," Aaron Alexander said. "I feel like abortion is one of the big sins that's holding America back. just the life of the unborn should be cherished."

"We feel like God is doing awesome things here in Raleigh, as well as and across this nation," Debbie Keever said.

Pence ended his day in the Triangle in Cary at a "Cops for Trump" event, where he accepted an endorsement from the Southern States Police Benevolent Association.

"Now, more than ever, the American people are grateful for the people who serve on the thin blue line," he told a few dozen people, citing recent protests across the U.S. that have sometimes turned violent.

"President Trump and I will always stand for the right of Americans to peaceful protest. But rioting and looting is not peaceful protest. Burning businesses is not free speech. Harming innocent civilians and law enforcement is not how Americans express their sentiments," he said. " We will have law and order in every city in this nation."

Pence's visit comes the day after Trump visited Wilmington. The president is scheduled to return to the state next week, with a Tuesday visit to Winston-Salem.

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