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As part of the fight for life, Mike Pence says the U.S. must make adoption more affordable


“Did you know that the average cost of an adoption in the United States of America today can be as much as $70,000? That’s more than the average American worker makes in a year. That’s a moral and legal failure for our nation.”


Former Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the Students for Life of America gala last weekend where he talked about his faith, the need to continue opposing abortion, and making adoption more accessible and affordable.

Quick Facts

Students for Life of America held its 2023 Post-Roe Generation Gala on March 4. Speakers included former Vice President Pence, Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon, and Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins.

Pence gave a 20-minute speech in which he said he became an advocate for life five years after the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which made abortion legal in all 50 states. Pence told the crowd how he heard the Gospel for the first time and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

“When I made that decision, everything in my life changed. I opened the Book and I read words like, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart. See I set before you today life and death, blessings and curses now choose life so that you and your children may live.’ I knew then that His cause must become my cause and ever since that day, I have dedicated myself as all of you have to the cause of the sanctity of life.”

Pence talked about events such as his addressing the March for Life while vice president, passing laws protecting life and promoting adoption, defunding Planned Parenthood, and the fall of Roe in Dobbs v. Jackson.

“We celebrate today our first ever post-Roe gala,” Pence said. “But I think all of you know that we’ve not come to the end of this cause. We’ve simply come to the end of the beginning. It may take us as long to restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law as it took us to overturn that dreadful decision. So we must be prepared to labor and work and pray with undaunting courage.”

He added:

“In this rapidly changing post-Roe America, our job remains the same. To restore a culture of life, to restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law. And understand this is not merely about the cause of life. I believe, if we save the babies, we will save America.”

Pence gave the audience some thoughts as to what the pro-life movement should do next. Pro-lifers, he said, must fight to elect members of Congress and state legislatures who will end abortion and fight to give full protection of the law to unborn babies. “Resources, benefits, programs, and protections available to children and their families under the law should be extended to unborn children,” Pence stated.

To be more pro-life, legislators must make it easier for Americans “to choose life,” and those in the pro-life movement need to push even harder for pro-adoption policies at both the state and federal levels.

“You cannot be pro-life unless you are pro-adoption. We need to make adoption more available and more affordable for every family in America,” he stated.

Both public and private adoptions have been on the decline in recent years. According to the most recent, fully comprehensive report put out by the National Council for Adoption (NCFA), 115,353 children were adopted in 2019, but just 95,306 in 2020, a 17 percent drop. In 2021, the number of children adopted out of foster care was 54,240, the lowest since 2015 and 18 percent lower than in 2019.

Another major survey conducted by NCFA of adoptive families and individuals found that in contemplating adoption, more than half of adopters saw the cost of adoption as a barrier.

“Did you know that the average cost of an adoption in the United States of America today can be as much as $70,000?” Pence lamented. “That’s more than the average American worker makes in a year. That’s a moral and legal failure for our nation.”

Pence then turned his attention to crisis pregnancy centers, noting that “we’ve seen unspeakable violence and threats against pregnancy resource centers around the country where staff and innumerable volunteers have literally been changing lives for decades. We must demand of the Biden administration’s Justice Department that those who vandalize crisis pregnancy centers be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

He also praised the 20 state attorneys general who have challenged the distribution of abortion pills in their states, noting that they are not only fighting for life but also the rule of law. “Over half of all abortions are now performed by medication,” he said. “The FDA approved these drugs after ignoring potentially dangerous side effects. Americans don’t want their pharmacies to become abortion facilities…Our postal system was not designed to be an engine of death for the unborn for their mothers.”

Vice President Pence made many true statements. While we rejoice at the end of Roe v. Wade, the war wages on. Many states have only grown more resilient in their commitment to abortion; others who have passed abortion restrictions continue to face legal battles that hinder their ability to protect babies. As medication abortions continue to become more common and the Biden administration attempts to force all states to allow women to receive the pills by mail, those who support life must keep fighting.

Part of that fight is pushing our nation to be more encouraging of having children and of adoption. As Christians we must embrace these positions because of God’s Word. As Vice President Pence pointed out, God created life (Genesis 1), we each reflect His image (Genesis 1:27), the needy are precious to God (Psalm 72:12-14), and we are called to care for those who need it (James 1:27).

These verses show God’s definition of life, His love for His children from the moment of conception, and His desire to see them defended, protected, and nurtured. That means Christians must support pregnant mothers, be willing to adopt needy children, support pregnancy resource centers with their money and time, and vote for pro-life candidates at every level of government. And most importantly, Christians must continue to diligently pray for all those involved on the frontlines of this fight to defend and protect children, both unborn and unwanted.

Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.

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