President Donald Trump addressed the 45th March for Life on Friday in live remarks sent via satellite from the Rose Garden to the National Mall less than a mile away.
An estimated crowd of 100,000 heard Trump say he was honored and proud to be the first sitting president to address the annual march via a live video feed. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush all addressed the March for Life as well with pro-life remarks. Their remarks were typically pre-taped or were aired via a live phone call to March for Life participants.
Trump praised the marchers for supporting a “beautiful cause to build a society where life is protected and cherished.”
The theme of this year’s March for Life was “Love Saves Lives” and Trump built on that theme saying the pro-life movement was born out of love for family, country and unborn children; “a precious gift from God.”
Trump said the marchers were standing for the first freedom guaranteed in the Constitution, the right to life, a right that the president said the U.S. Supreme Court turned its back on 45 years ago in the Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion.
The result of that ruling, Trump reminded the crowd, brought about the most permissive abortion laws in the world putting America in the same category as China and North Korea.
Trump also touted his pro-life achievements that include support for the Mexico City policy that prevents U.S. federal funding for non-governmental organizations that promote abortion and abortion services, his executive order protecting the conscience rights of medical professionals to refuse to take part in abortions, and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that would ban late-term abortions nationwide on the basis that the fetus is capable of feeling pain during an abortion. He called on the Senate to pass that legislation and send it on to him for his signature.
At the end of this speech Trump called to the dais Marianne Donadio, the Vice President of Marketing and Development for Room at the Inn, a home for homeless, expecting women to find help and hope during their pregnancy.
Donadio found herself pregnant at age 17 but had supportive parents who helped her through the pregnancy that resulted in a son that she named Benedict. He and his wife were on hand at the Rose Garden.
Donadio said she wanted to be part of an effort to help women who don’t have the support of a family that she enjoyed.
The shelter has provided services to more than 400 women.
Trump said that’s the true gift of the pro-life movement and what brings them together for the March for Life, adding, “The gift of life itself, that’s why we march and pray that America’s future will be filled with life for everyone.”
Trump was followed by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. He was on the stage at the National Mall. He told the crowd that life was winning in America because love really does save lives. He thanked the marchers for their compassion, persistence, activism and prayers on the behalf of the unborn and their mothers.
He finished by saying “With God’s help we can restore the sanctity of life in America and the rule of law.”