By Felecia Pohl
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Several young women at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday in Maryland praised Vice President Mike Pence for bringing up the anti-abortion movement in his address to attendees.
“I really appreciated how [Pence] mentioned the pro-life aspect of the president’s time in office,” said Prudence Robertson, 21, who studies history at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio.
“I like that [President Donald Trump] has really pushed that issue because that’s something that I’ve been passionate about since I was very young,” she added. “My sister is adopted and a lot of times I just think about how if she would have been aborted my life would be so different.”
In his speech, which covered numerous topics including the country’s low unemployment rate, the border wall and the president’s judicial appointees, Pence reiterated the administration’s support for “the sanctity of human life.” The vice president also referred to Trump as “the most pro-life president in American history.”
Kara Johnson, 19, is a freshman studying biology at Hillsdale College in Michigan. She also said she loved Pence’s speech.
“He’s just an incredible speaker, first off, and I can’t even explain how excited I was,” she said. “The pro-life stuff, everything. He is great.”
Emma Holub, 18, who attends Fieldston High School in New York City, said that while she did not agree with everything Pence said, “He really was able to connect with his audience. I’ve not seen that really in person, seeing the speaker connect that well with the audience.”
Holub also said that earlier in the week she and a friend attended a breakout session at CPAC that focused on the pro-life movement, and she asked how Conservatives plan to educate young women on practicing safe sex to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
“I think that [question] wasn’t necessarily answered, but I think it was a thing to definitely start thinking and talking about. I wanted to hear about that a little bit more,” Holub said.
Within a few hours of Pence’s speech, some Democrats including Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) tweeted messages supporting abortion rights.
The anti-choice movement continues to spew lies about women and their healthcare. None of their claims about abortion later in pregnancy are based in science, medicine, or reality. Instead they incite violence against providers & patients. What’s pro-life about that? #HowDareYou pic.twitter.com/sPAUkUMg3m
— Carolyn B. Maloney (@RepMaloney) March 1, 2019
Several organizations that support abortion rights also put messages on social media on Friday after Pence’s speech that voiced support for reproductive freedom, including NARAL Pro-Choice America and the National Abortion Federation.
Robertson, the history student, said she thinks abortion is the No. 1 political issue right now.
“I just think it’s so important to promote the dignity of every human person … because if we aren’t able to defend our most vulnerable, then we’re not going to be able to thrive as a nation.”
Pence, whose wife, Karen, accompanied him, also spoke at CPAC’s annual conference last year. Trump is scheduled to address the attendees on Saturday.