WASHINGTON — On a cold Friday morning in the nation’s capital, pro-life activists gathered at the grounds of the Washington Monument for the 44th annual March for Life.
The new day also dawned on a new presidential administration, one only a week old.
Some pro-lifers expressed outright optimism about President Donald Trump’s new administration, while others were more cautious, and expressed lingering concern over the president’s commitment to their cause.
But few doubted Mike Pence’s commitment to the pro-life cause when he became the first sitting vice president to address the gathering in person.
TheBlaze previously reported that Pence called the 2017 event “a good day, the best day I’ve ever seen for the March [for] Life, in more ways than one.”
Pence told those in the audience that “life is winning again in America,” and that the Trump administration supports their cause, sentiments echoed by Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to the president, who also spoke at the March.
While having a vice president in attendance at their event was a first for the March, it marked the first time in eight years that those gathered felt support from the White House for their cause. Some of them were even invited to the White House prior to the March.
Honored to meet with Pro-Life leaders in my office tonight. Just told them I look forward to addressing National… https://t.co/TZV4id4N8R— Vice President Mike Pence (@Vice President Mike Pence)1485472441.0
Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director who is now the founder and president of And Then There Were None, a ministry that helps abortion workers leave the industry, told TheBlaze that she attended a reception with Pence at the White House.
“It was really exciting,” Johnson said, adding that Pence had “a message of hope” for pro-lifers.
“He was really trying to let us know that we can trust him, and we can trust this administration, and I do trust Vice President Pence.”
David Daleiden, the founder of the Center for Medical Progress, told TheBlaze that he hopes defunding Planned Parenthood and appointing a new pro-life Supreme Court justice will be the new administration’s first priorities.
Daleiden praised Trump for calling out the lack of media coverage for the event.
“The elite establishment media has totally discredited themselves at this point,” he said, adding that the media needs to “gain back the trust that they’ve absolutely squandered and lost with mainstream America.”
Marchers made their way from the Washington Monument to the Supreme Court, the site of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
March is insanely big. #whywemarch #marchforlife https://t.co/UtHtPbgAbS— Billy Hallowell (@Billy Hallowell)1485545066.0
"Oh God, how I need you." #MarchForLife https://t.co/uiEuiQRmbH— Kate Scanlon (@Kate Scanlon)1485550348.0
"Abortion did not help me. Death is not my friend." - Silent No More witness outside SCOTUS #MarchforLife https://t.co/gI5LfzPghk— Kate Scanlon (@Kate Scanlon)1485550627.0
Wow! Check out this awesome time lapse of the entire #MarchforLife! https://t.co/Evrq3IBGCd— studentsforlife (@studentsforlife)1485553430.0
Here at the US Supreme Court! @vp shared earlier that @POTUS will announce SCOTUS nominee next week. #MarchForLife… https://t.co/YHUOWEoUAp— March for Life (@March for Life)1485546179.0
Though Trump did not address the crowd by phone — as previous Republican presidents have done — but he offered his support on Twitter:
.@VP Mike Pence will be speaking at today's #MarchForLife -- You have our full support! https://t.co/1jb53SEGV4— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1485534629.0
Meanwhile, Cecile Richards, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, marked the occasion by sending a fundraising email to supporters.
.@CecileRichards and @PPact are trying to fundraise off the #MarchForLife: "Right now, extremists are marching on W… https://t.co/WHvjGq5RPl— Kate Scanlon (@Kate Scanlon)1485553754.0
Writing that “extremists” are in Washington protesting Roe v. Wade, Richards wrote that less than a week into the new administration, “we're already in the fight of our lives.”