Former Vice President Mike Pence says it is his hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn abortion rights amid a national conversation on restrictive new laws passed at the state level.

Speaking before a gathering of international conservative activists in Hungary’s capital of Budapest on Thursday, Pence touted the judicial appointments made while serving in former President Donald Trump’s administration. He said that it was his desire to see a Supreme Court overturn the decades-old Roe vs Wade decision that legalized abortion in the U.S.

“We may well have a fresh start in the cause of life in America," Pence said. “It is our hope and our prayer that in the coming days, a new conservative majority on the Supreme Court of the United States will take action to restore the sanctity of life at the center of American law.”

Pence, a leader among social conservatives in the U.S., has never been shy about his opposition to abortion or other positions that he feels undermine traditional family values or go against his Christian faith.

In his remarks, Pence issued a grim warning that portrayed rising divorce rates, legalized abortion and low birth rates as contributing to the “erosion of the nuclear family.” These trends, he suggests, are part of a wider civilizational crisis that had to be addressed with urgency.

“We see a crisis that brings us here today, a crisis that strikes at the very heart of civilization itself. The erosion of the nuclear family marked by declining marriage rates, rising divorce, widespread abortion and plummeting birth rates,” said Pence.

Viktor Orban's flagship policies include anti-migration and anti-LGBT legislation that has been slammed by rights groups Viktor Orban's flagship policies include anti-migration and anti-LGBT legislation that has been slammed by rights groups Photo: POOL / JOHN THYS

The former vice president also took a moment to praise his host, Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has become an increasingly admired figure among U.S. conservatives.

Orban has been criticized for authoritarian policies that have chipped away at the independence of Hungarian institutions, freedom of the press, and the rights of minorities such as Hungary’s LGBT population since returning to office in 2011.

He is also a known firebrand in his opposition to migration to Hungary, staking out a position as the leading critic of the European Union’s refugee and asylum policies and branding Hungary as the defender of Christian values in Europe.

The E.U. has been at odds with his government over a deterioration of the rule of law under his premiership and a discriminatory new law outlawing the teaching of “LGBT propaganda” in Hungarian schools.

Orban was also a fan of Trump's. Last month, he told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that Trump’s “America First” foreign policy was a “very positive message” in Hungary and lamented his defeat last November. He told Pence at the gathering that “we wish you a come back as soon as possible.”

Pence is considered a likely contender for the next presidential election in 2024, especially if Trump decides to forgo a run. His conservative bona fides may bode well for him among those put off by Trump’s flippant style, but Trump loyalists cooled on Pence since his refusal to reverse the results of the 2020 election.

This was a power that Pence did not have under the U.S. Constitution, but defying Trump undermined his position with the still popular ex-president’s supporters.