• Mike Pence called on large employers to pay for adoptions.
  • The comments come as businesses say they'll help workers pay for travel for abortions. 
  • Pence took a victory lap on the Supreme Court's overturning Roe v. Wade. 

Republican voters and lawmakers should start pressuring corporations to cover the costs of adoption, former Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday. 

"If you're going to be pro-life you need to be pro-adoption," Pence said during a speech at Florence Baptist Temple, a church in South Carolina. 

Pence's comments come as several large corporations such as Citi, Apple, Yelp, and Amazon have offered to pay for travel for patients who live in states where abortion is banned after the Supreme Court last month overturned Roe v. Wade.

Voters must "call on corporate America to do their part," Pence said, to fix the "moral and legal failing" of how expensive adoption has become and how difficult it is to navigate adoption services. 

Pence also called for every state in the US to ban abortion and predicted it would happen eventually but may take decades, adding, "I do not know if I will be here to see it." 

The purpose of Wednesday's speech, Pence said, was to "cast a vision for a post-Roe America." He urged the audience to support the Hyde Amendment, a spending rider that blocks federal funding from paying for most abortions, and to oppose the availability of the abortion pill, which patients can access through the mail. 

He also urged supporters to "re-double your commitment to provide care and support to expectant mothers, newborns, and young families."

Pence's speech Wednesday also had a campaign purpose, as he called on the audience to elect GOP lawmakers who are anti-abortion, specifically endorsing the reelection of  South Carolina Gov. Henry McMasters and US Sen. Tim Scott. 

Pence's visit to South Carolina, an early voting state, is likely to tamp up speculation that he'll seek a run for the presidency in 2024. During the last year Pence has helped to support 2022 congressional and gubernatorial candidates, sometimes clashing with the picks of his previous boss, former President Donald Trump. 

Trump has been dangling the possibility of a 2024 run for more than a year, opening up the possibility that he and his former vice president may face each other in a crowded Republican primary.

Pence took a victory lap Wednesday on his anti-abortion record, from the time he was a congressman to when he was governor of Indiana and then vice president. 

"Today at long last Roe v. Wade has been sent to the ash heap of history where it belongs," Pence said. 

A day earlier, on Tuesday, Pence returned to Capitol Hill for the first time since President Joe Biden's Inauguration. 

Pence has distanced himself from Trump since the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, but on Wednesday he championed what he called "the most pro-life administration in American history," citing wins for the cause such as the confirmation of conservative Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. 

While in Congress Pence sponsored the first bill to block federal funding from going to Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions among other reproductive healthcare services, and as Indiana governor, he signed a bill into law that would ban abortions on the basis of race, sex, and fetal disability. 

During his speech Wednesday, Pence bashed Democrats and the Biden administration for supporting the Women's Health Protection Act, a bill that would legalize abortion in all states and undo most restrictions. Every Democrat in the Senate supports the bill except for Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Republicans oppose it and have called it "extreme" because it goes further than Roe by allowing undefined "health" exemptions to post-viability abortions. Pence said voters should push back on Democrats' efforts.

"As we gather tonight," Pence said, "we must recognize that we have only come to the end of the beginning." 

Read the original article on Business Insider