WASHINGTON – The vice president and one of President Donald Trump’s top aides cheered on the March for Life Friday, two high-profile surrogates from the new administration signaling their support for the anti-abortion rights rally.
“Life is winning again in America,” Vice President Mike Pence told the crowd. “That is evident in the election of pro life majorities in the congress of the United States of America.”
“But it is no more evident in any way than in the historic election of a president who stands for a stronger America and a more prosperous America and a president who I proudly say stands for the right to life – President Donald Trump.”
Pence is the highest ranking public official to ever address the March for Life rally personally. He said the President asked him to attend.
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway had earlier said the President was planning to call in to the large annual gathering of anti-abortion activistis, then later clarified that his plans were dependent upon his schedule and the call may not work out if it conflicted with his meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May.
The March for Life happens annually near the January anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision making abortion legal.
Pence reminded the crowded that Trump signed an executive order earlier this week blocking federal funding for abortions overseas and promised that Congress will work to end federal funding going to American organizations that perform abortions.
“And we will devote those resources to health care services for women across America,” he said.
And the Vice President said next week Trump will announce a Supreme Court Justice next week that will back anti-abortion policies and “will uphold the god given liberties in our Constitution in the tradition on of the late and great justice Antonin Scalia.”
Trump tweeted his support for the march earlier.
The President mentioned the march Thursday while meeting with GOP leaders at the Republican retreat in Philadelphia and Vice President Mike Pence announced on Twitter Thursday that he will address the attendees in person. It’s the first time a sitting vice president has addressed a March for Life rally, according to administration spokeswoman Lindsay Walters.
Conway also spoke at the annual event reminding attendees of the Trump administration’s commitment to the anti-abortion voting bloc.
“Allow me to make it very clear: We hear you, we see you, we respect you and we look forward to working with you,” she said. “The March for Life began in Washington, DC, as a small demonstration and rapidly grew to be the largest pro-life event in the world,” according to the march’s website.
At past events, Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush addressed the event via telephone.
Several Republican lawmakers and activists hope to use the event to “unite and strategize around a common message,” according to the group’s mission statement.
More than 60% of Republicans said abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, according to a Pew Research Center poll.
Trump often campaigned on promising to nominate a Supreme Court justice with conservative views on abortion and pledged to back anti-abortion rights justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade as well as send the issue back to the states, in an interview with “60 Minutes.”
Nearly seven-in-ten Americans say Roe v. Wade should not be completely overturned, according to a Pew Research Center poll.