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Presidential hopeful Mike Pence Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) —The United States should “establish a minimum national standard of 15 weeks” for the latest a woman can have an abortion, says former Vice President Mike Pence, a 2024 Republican presidential candidate.

“I think creating a minimum national standard for after a child is able to feel pain in the womb is an idea whose time has come,” Pence said on CNN Sunday. “Frankly, it’s supported by an overwhelming majority of the American people.” A poll released in June found a combined total of 77% support for limiting elective abortions at least to the first 15 weeks, as previously reported by LifeSiteNews.

“And if I’m president of the United States, I will champion that in the Congress, even while we look for even greater protections for the unborn in states across the country,” Pence said.

However, Pence also indicated he supports allowing for the killing of innocent preborn life for rape and incest.

“I’m pro-life, but I have always recognized and accepted abortions in tragic circumstances, rape, incest, the life of the mother,” Pence said.

The former vice president also said he plans to “continue to be a champion for advancing the sanctity of life in every state in this country.”

Pence’s clear stance on the issue puts him at odds with President Donald Trump, who did not directly say if he would support a 15-week national abortion ban, and the pro-life movement, which holds that innocent human life is sacred from conception until natural death.

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“We’re going to look at it. We’re looking at a lot of different options. We got it back to the states. We did the Roe v. Wade thing, which they’ve been trying to get it done for 50 years. I got it done,” Trump said in May. “I appointed incredible justices and judges all over, 300 federal judges and three justices, and I was able to do things that nobody else was able to and we’ll get something done where everyone is going to be very satisfied. I believe that.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 93% of abortions in the U.S. are committed on babies during the first trimester of pregnancy, meaning a national ban on abortions at the 15-week mark would only stop a small percentage of abortions.

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