WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Friday became the first sitting president in U.S. history to lend his support to the March for Life movement.
Addressing a crowd of tens of thousands who had gathered at the nation’s capital, President Trump said it was his “honor” to speak out on behalf of the unborn (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfgByiC057k).
The annual event, held in Washington, protests the 1974 “Roe v. Wade” decision, which cleared the way for legal abortions in the U.S.
“Under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independence and that is the right to life,” Trump said while speaking from the Rose Garden.
During his speech, the president directly targeted a gruesome procedure referred to as “partial-birth abortion” during which a late-term baby can be aborted as last as during the ninth month of a woman’s pregnancy.
“That is why we march, that is why we pray, that is why we declare that America’s future will be filled with goodness, peace, joy, dignity and life for every child of God,” said Trump, referring to the procedure as “wrong”, saying it “has to change.”
‘We are with you all the way. May God bless you,” the president said to those at the march, many of whom had come from all over the country to attend.
The move symbolized the president’s change in view on the issue of abortion after having been vocal in his pro-choice stance in years past.
Indeed, during his opening remarks before introducing the president, Vice-President Mike Pence referred to Trump as “the most pro-life president in American history”.
Pence, long known for his pro-life stance, had represented the Trump administration by addressing the crowd last year.
Organizers of the movement praised the president for his pro-life efforts.
“He has been great on pro-life public policy,” March for Life’s president, Jeanne Mancini, told POLITICO. “He doesn’t lack courage. He’s been leaning into this issue in a way that’s refreshing.”
The president has been challenged by the left on his evolution when it comes to the matter of abortion. But it was a personal experience, he said while on the campaign trail in 2016, that caused him to “see the light”.
“What happened is friends of mine, years ago, were going to have a child, and it was going to be aborted. And it wasn’t aborted. And that child today is a total superstar, a great, great child. And I saw that. And I saw other instances,” Trump said. “I am (now) very, very proud to say that I am pro-life.”