Thousands of pro-life advocates gathered on Friday at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to protest abortion. Many teens participated in the event, holding signs urging the public to choose life and defund Planned Parenthood. The rally has taken place every year since January 22, 1974, the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision which made abortion legal. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, both made appearances at the event. They shared a video message from President Trump speaking in solidarity with the participants, according to USA Today.
The Trump administration has been highly supportive of the right-to-life effort, seeking the enactment of new laws to deter abortions over the past two years in office. Trump purposefully stocked the federal bench with pro-life judges and has ensured that no foreign aid is put toward organizations that support the legalization or practice of abortion.
Great honor to speak at tonight’s March for Life Rose Dinner. Under @POTUS Trump, this is a pro-life administration – and across the board, we have kept our promise to stand without apology for the sanctity of human life! pic.twitter.com/YLcoWBuxCW— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) January 19, 2019
Pence shared a video message from President Trump at the rally in which he detailed his progress toward the pro-life effort.
“This is a movement founded on love and grounded in the nobility and dignity of every human life,” Trump said in the message. “I will always defend the first right in our Declaration of Independence: the right to life.”
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro also spoke at the rally, describing abortion as a “violent act.” Pence echoed his sentiments in a tweet Friday.
“Spoke w/ @BenShapiro & all his listeners at @March_For_Life about how @POTUS has been STANDING for LIFE. We’ve reinstated the Mexico City Policy, allowed states to defund Planned Parenthood & nominated judges who will uphold our God-given liberties enshrined in our Constitution,” he wrote.
Many participants from the march are high school and college students from Catholic Schools across the nation. They hope that the rally serves as a way not to cause greater division, but to open people’s eyes regarding the issue of abortion and attract the attention of political leaders. The movement allows like-minded young people to bond together in a peaceful way to express their views regarding an issue they are passionate about.
Meanwhile, the new Democratic House majority is concerned by Trump’s actions to restrict birth control access and make abortions harder to come by. They vow to block such restrictions that they feel are an imposition about the basic rights of American women.
“We are systematically going to dismantle these restrictions on women’s health care,” said Colorado Democrat representative Diana DeGette.