Vice President Pence Visits Colorado Springs for Focus on the Family’s 40th Anniversary

Vice President Mike Pence spoke Friday to a crowd of roughly 1,650 people at the headquarters of Focus on the Family, an influential evangelical Christian ministry based in Colorado Springs. 

Pence congratulated the organization -- which was founded by James Dobson in 1977 -- for "40 years of vision, compassion, and most of all [...] for 40 years of consequence for faith and families all across these United States." 

As the Associated Press reports, Pence also used his remarks to urge religious conservatives to get involved in the ongoing debate over health care in the United States.

"The time is now" for a health care overhaul, he told the crowd, pointing out that the health care bill currently under consideration in the Senate includes numerous provisions that "honor the sanctity of life."

Though Focus on the Family has retreated from national politics in recent years, the organization has long been outspoken in its opposition to abortion.

To that end, Pence outlined steps the Trump administration has already taken to restrict abortion access, including the elimination of funding to the United Nations Population Fund, which promotes family planning around the world. To a standing ovation, he vowed that "later this summer, when we repeal and replace Obamacare, we're going to defund Planned Parenthood once and for all." 

Vice President Pence was also scheduled to make stops Friday at Schriever Air Force Base, the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, and a Colorado Springs event for Senator Cory Gardner.