Marking a first for a U.S. President, President Trump took the stage at the 47th Annual March for Life earlier today. Trump’s comments ranged from gratitude for the people involved in the pro-life cause to criticism of pro-choice democrats to the sanctity of all human life.
“Unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House,” Trump said to the cheering crowd.
Trump started off his speech by saying, “It is my profound honor to be the first president to attend the March for Life.”
Drawing attention to the number of young people in attendance, Trump said “Your generation is making America the pro-life, pro-family generation.” He also mentioned there are “tens of thousands” of high school and college students involved in the movement.
Trump thanked a laundry list of politicians in attendance, including Senators Mike Lee and James Lankford. He also mentioned Rep. Steve Scalise by name. He said there were many more politicians in the audience, but “if you don’t mind, I won’t introduce them all.”
Trump Takes Opportunity to Campaign
Some have accused Trump of speaking at the March simply to garner votes and secure supporters from the pro-life cause. Trump digressed into partisan feuds at one point in the speech. He took aim at Democrats who “have embraced the most radical and extreme positions” concerning abortion. He also said “nearly all” democrats support tax-payer abortions up until the moment of birth. This is a talking point he’s used repeatedly when sparring with his democratic rivals.
To provide some context, there are currently three pro-life Democrats serving in the U.S. Senate and two in the Congress. Democrat Rep. Dan Lipinski actually spoke at March for Life last year and a few years before that (2011, 2013, 2015). In the past, Lipinski has said “It’s not easy being a pro-life Democrat.” There are also a sizable number of pro-life Democratic voters, some of whom attended the March for Life this year.
Trump alluded to the impeachment trial that is currently taking place by saying “They are coming after me because I am fighting for you.” Compared to the content of his speeches and comments at previous years’ March for Life events, these jabs at democratic rivals seemed to be campaign-motivated.
He then went on to remind the crowd of all the things he’s done for the pro-life movement. He mentioned five things in particular:
Reinstating the Mexico City policy
Putting new restrictions on organizations receiving Title X funding
Making it known he would “veto anything” that attempts to dismantle the pro-life cause
Wrapping up his comments, Trump reminded the crowd this year marks the 100-year anniversary of the ratifying of the 19th Amendment, which secured a woman’s right to vote. He thanked the women present at the event and also said “mothers are heroes.”
“Every human soul is divine. Every human–born and unborn–is made in the mighty image of God,” Trump said. He also said when holding a newborn, we glimpse the majesty of God.
Mike and Karen Pence Also Participated
Mike and Karen Pence, who attended March for Life 2019, recorded a video that they sent from the Vatican. Addressing the crowd, the Vice President said he and Karen met with Pope Francis, thanking him for being pro-life.
“Thank you for your witness. Thank you for your compassion…Your prayers have sustained this important movement for nearly 50 years,” Karen told the crowd.
President of the March for Life, Jeanne Mancini, talked about how much the movement had grown in nearly 50 years. Mancini said the March “started around a kitchen table in 1974” and that it gets “bigger and younger” each year.
The theme of the march this year is “Life empowers: Pro-life is pro-woman.”