The party late Sunday night announced Pearce's resignation as first vice chairman - the state party's second top leadership post - after some Republican candidates denounced the comments that Pearce recently made while hosting a radio program.
Pearce said in a statement released by the party that he was resigning his position because he didn't want to be a distraction during the campaign leading up to November's elections.
He was criticized for saying: "You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I'd do is give a woman Norplant birth control implants or tubal ligations, then we'll test recipients for drugs and alcohol and nicotine. If you want to (re-)produce or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job."
Pearce said in his statement that he had "shared comments written by someone else and failed to attribute them to the author."