The White House confirmed this morning that Vice President Mike Pence will address attendees on the National Mall this Friday at the March for Life, the largest annual gathering of pro-life supporters.
Started in 1974, the March for Life protests the United States Supreme Court’s decision legalizing abortion in the infamous Roe v. Wade decision.
Although the participation of Republican presidents is not unprecedented—Presidents Ronald Reagan (1987) and George W. Bush (2003) spoke remotely—Pence’s appearance marks the highest ranking White House official to appear at the event.
The Vice President’s appearance will conclude a dramatic week for pro-life activists who cheered President Trump earlier in the week for reinstating the Mexico City Policy (a policy that requires global health organizations that receive federal funding to refrain from promoting abortion) and the House’s passage of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, a law that would permanently codify the Hyde Amendment and remove abortion funding from Obamacare.
Although refusing to name the March for Life by name, the New York Times even noted the symbolism of Vice President Pence’s appearance at the event.
“The symbolism of hearing from Mr. Pence and another senior Trump administration official, Kellyanne Conway, at the march is hard to overlook. Mr. Trump eventually won over many reluctant anti-abortion leaders who had chafed at his past support for abortion rights and his history of being a less-than-ideal role model for religious conservatives.”
It is true that President Trump’s past support for abortion and derogatory comments about women prevented notable social conservatives from supporting his candidacy. However, religious leaders have unanimously praised President Trump this week for unapologetically promoting the pro-life cause. In fact, if this week’s actions are any indication, the President’s campaign promises of appointing pro-life Supreme Court justices and vow to sign a nationwide ban on abortion at 20 weeks are serious, and signal that the issue of life is a priority for the new administration.