Speaking in the White House Rose Garden in the presence of pro-life leaders and activists, President Donald Trump and Vice President Michael Pence pledged their support of the pro-life message of the thousands of pro-life activists who rallied on the National Mall at the annual March for Life on Friday. In a speech that was broadcast via satellite link to the marchers outside of the White House grounds, Trump said, “Under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independence, and that is the right to life.” 

The annual march marks the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that recognized a legal right to abortion. In previous years, Democrats sitting in the White House ignored the march, while Republicans such as Ronald Reagan broadcast recorded remarks. In 2017, Vice President Pence became the highest-ranking government official to personally address the march.

On Friday, Trump said he was “really proud to be the first president to stand with you here at the White House,” in a reference to Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, who addressed the march by telephone when they were in office.

Addressing the attendees, the president said, “You love every child, born and unborn, because you believe that every life is sacred, that every child is a precious gift from God.” He added, “Because of you, tens of thousands of Americans have been born and reached their full God-given potential. Because of you.”

Regarding the availability of abortion, the president said, “It is wrong, it has to change." He added, “Americans are more and more pro-life.”

The Trump administration has so far advanced several policies through executive orders rather than legislation, including an expanded version of the Bush-era Mexico City policy, which bars U.S. funding for abortions overseas. On Thursday, the president announced that a new office has been created to protect the conscience rights of medical professionals who do not wish to participate in abortions because of their religious beliefs.
Trump noted these initiatives, while also heralding the peak stock market and lowered unemployment rates. At the lectern, Trump called on a woman who became a mother at age 17, who later established a facility to support homeless pregnant women. “Most important of all, it is the gift of life itself. That is why we march and that is why we pray,” the president said.

For his part, Vice President Pence mentioned the Roe v. Wade anniversary, saying, “Forty-five years ago, the Supreme Court turned its back on the inalienable right to life. But in that moment, our movement began.” He praised the president as “the most pro-life president in American history” and vowed, “With God’s help, we will restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law.”

At the Washington Monument, the crowd cheered House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), who proclaimed: “How grateful are we to have a pro life president back in the White House!” Ryan said, “One thing that gets lost is how compassionate the pro-life movement is.” He added, “To help women who have gone through the pain of abortion, to help single mothers, to give them resources through thousands of pregnancy centers: this is the face of the pro-life movement.”

Also on Friday, the White House released the following points:

"We cherish the sacred dignity of every human life." -- President Donald J. Trump

AN IGNOBLE EXCEPTION: The United States is one of a few countries to allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The United States is one of only seven countries that allow for elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy; two of the other countries are North Korea and China.

Research shows unborn babies feel pain as early as 20 weeks to such a degree that anesthesia is routinely administered to unborn babies undergoing in utero surgeries and premature infants of the same age undergoing surgery.

In the United States, taxpayer funding subsidizes 900 health care plans that cover abortions, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
Under the previous administration, States were allowed to outlaw pro-life health insurance with impunity.

AMERICANS SUPPORT PRO-LIFE POLICIES: Public support for pro-life policies remains high according to recent polling.

A recent Marist-Knights of Columbus poll shows the majority of Americans, 56 percent, believe abortion to be morally wrong.
More than three in four Americans support restrictions on abortion.
Even six in ten of those who identify as pro-choice support restrictions on abortion.
63 percent of Americans support a ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Even the majority of pro-choice Americans, 56 percent, support banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Public support for banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy has grown by four percent in the last year.
Six in ten Americans oppose using taxpayer money to fund abortions.
The majority of Americans, 52 percent, believe that, in the long run, having an abortion does more harm than good to a woman’s life.
Nearly half of all Americans, 47 percent, believe life begins at conception, and 62 percent believe it begins within the first three months of a pregnancy.

COMMITTED TO PROTECTING LIFE: President Donald J. Trump has shown his steadfast commitment to preserving the precious gift of life and defending religious liberty.

President Trump is the first sitting President to address the March for Life live via satellite.
o Vice President Mike Pence addressed the March for Life in 2017, becoming the first sitting Vice President to do so in person.

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services is announcing a proposal to revise its conscience regulations to protect President Trump’s promise to enforce Federal conscience and religious freedom protections. The proposed conscience provisions include:

Restricting taxpayer funds, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare, from being used by entities with discriminatory policies or practices,
Protecting Americans who have religious or moral convictions related to certain health care services,
Recognizing that Americans should not be discriminated against for their religious or moral beliefs when participating in certain health services.

Just after taking office, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which protects $9 billion in foreign aid from being used to fund the global abortion industry.

President Trump cut off taxpayer funding for the U.N. Population Fund, which colludes with China’s cruel program of forced abortion and sterilization.
President Trump signed H.J. Res. 43 into law, overturning a midnight regulation by the Obama Administration, which prohibited States from defunding certain abortion facilities in their federally-funded family planning programs.

President Trump has expressed strong support for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would stop late-term abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, when science tells us that an unborn child can experience pain.

President Trump’s Administration issued guidance to enforce the requirement that taxpayer dollars not support abortion coverage in Obamacare exchange plans.

President Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services just announced the formation of a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, tasked with ensuring that laws that protect religious freedom and conscience rights are appropriately enforced.

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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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