Mike Pence calls for tougher abortion laws, beefs up military as he visits Utah

OREM, Utah — Former Vice President Mike Pence has said his roadmap to restoring American freedoms includes tougher abortion laws and a stronger US military.

Pence traveled to Utah on Tuesday to address a large audience of more than 700 students and community members at the Fall Forum of the Gary R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy at the University of Utah Valley.

“We come together at a difficult time in the life of this country,” Pence said. “In many ways, America is a nation in crisis.”

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

He highlighted the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, crime, national debt, “besieged borders”, “erosion of the nuclear family”, and the importance of protecting and restoring ” American freedoms.

This is the last point that Pence focused on the most throughout his speech.

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

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

“Part of the genius of the American foundation was this system of federalism where states became laboratories for American democracy and innovation,” he told Inside Sources.

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

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

Although he previously advocated for less federal oversight, he followed that up with a call not to “rest or yield” until “the sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in every state in the country.

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

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

He pointed to increased hostility towards those with religious beliefs.

“We live in a time where, in the name of tolerance, we encounter some of the least tolerant rhetoric in America,” Pence said. “We must defend freedom of religion and freedom of speech for every American in the courts and in the public square.”

He told Matheson he wanted Americans to remember the principles that made America.

“This country is unique, it is 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. That’s what we need to get back to,” Pence told Inside Sources.

Speaking of immigration, Pence recalled the story of his grandfather, Richard Michael Cawley, who immigrated to the United States in 1923.

“I don’t just understand, 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 want to come here under the law and live the American dream, just like my grandfather and my family.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence, and former Utah Governor Gary Herbert and his wife Jeanette Herbert greet attendees at Utah Valley University in Orem on Tuesday. Pence traveled to Beehive State to address a large audience at Utah Valley University’s Gary R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy Fall Forum. (Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

He also spoke about education and the vital role it plays in American culture. Specifically, he urged the restoration of “patriotic education” in American classrooms.

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

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

“We went through a bloody civil war, to make that a reality, but it will be generations later in the civil rights movement that we continue to push this principle forward,” Pence told Inside Sources.

Addressing the struggling economy, the former vice president called for a revival of free market principles and the liberation of 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 companies so they can compete with companies around the world. They are able to bring jobs back to America, and then you free American energy, cut the red tape, take three steps back, and the American economy will thrive again, just like before.

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

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

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

“the resources they need to be as dominant on land, sky, 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 with 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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