Pence: ‘A Nation That Will Not Stand For Life Will Not Stand For Long’

By Edwin Mora | January 25, 2011 | 6:23 AM EST

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., center, speaks at the 38th annual March for life on the National Mall in Washington on Monday, Jan. 24, 2011. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

( - Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) told pro-life activists in Washington on Monday that “a nation that will not stand for life will not stand for long.”

The Indiana congressman -- who appears to have his eye on higher office – told the 38th annual March for Life that pro-lifers “will keep gathering until Roe v. Wade is sent to the ash heap of history where it belongs.”

(Roe v. Wade is 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortions nationwide. One conservative leader, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, noted that the decision of seven unelected judges has led to the largest loss of life in human history.)

Despite the nation’s current economic challenges, Pence said the fight for life should not be ignored. He said the process of cutting federal spending should begin with a denial of all federal funding for abortion, both at home and abroad.

"We must not remain silent when great moral battles are being waged,” said Pence. “Those who would have us ignore the battle being fought over life have forgotten the lessons of history. As in the days of a house divided, America's darkest moments have come when economic arguments trumped moral principles.”

Pence called for stripping Planned Parenthood, which he referred to as the “largest abortion provider in America,” of federal funding.

“Every American knows in their heart, this is the greatest nation on earth because we acknowledge the God-given right to liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the unalienable right to life,” Pence said. He said it’s time to restore the “sanctity of life” to the “center of American law.”

The annual March for Life has been held every year since 1974, the year after the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing abortion on demand. The march begins on the National Mall and ends in front of the Supreme Court building, located directly behind the U.S. Capitol.

“Thank you for braving the cold one more time,” Pence told the crowd.  “We will win this fight because the deepest desire of every mother and father is to protect their child, at any cost, even with their own lives, and that truth cannot be erased.”

According to the liberal Guttmacher Institute, 1.2 million abortions take place in the United States each year.  Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, more than 52 million children have been killed by abortion in America. (See earlier story)

After addressing the 2011 March for Life attendees, Rep. Steve King (R-La.) said in a statement that the end of Roe v. Wade will occur in “our time.”

"For 38 years, Americans have come here to pray and march for life," said King. “Thomas Jefferson said generation is 19 years; that's two generations of Americans who have been here. Millions of Americans come here, make friends, march, pray for life, and deploy back across America to do the same. Because of the dedication of these generations of Americans, I am confident that we will see the end of Roe v. Wade in our time."

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) praised the March for Life attendees for withstanding the bitter cold. He called it the U.S. government’s “moral and constitutional obligation to protect the sanctity of human life.

“The right to life is a foundational right, fundamental to the strength and vitality of this great nation, and I will continue to fight the pro-life battle in the Senate,” Inhofe promised. “The yearly event serves as a reminder that we must continue to fight for the rights of the most vulnerable.”